St Francis Receiving the Stigmata is a fresco by Giotto that continues his use of religious themes in his work
A predella sits at the bottom of the artwork, featuring three small portraits that aim to support the larger composition that sits above. This technique of placing several smaller frescoes below a much larger one can be seen in several other Giotto paintings. The overall artwork features scenes from the life of St Francis of Assisi, with his receipt of the Stigmata being the larger piece and from where the overall project received its title. The three items below cover the dream of St Francis supporting a church about to collapse, the pope approving the rule of the Franciscans and across on the right is the saint preaching to birds, to whom God's path should also be followed.
Giotto also produced several triptychs as an alternative way to laying out related themes as part of an adjoined series. There is little documentation on this piece compared to several others but the general conscencus amongst art historians is that this was certainly the work of Giotto, perhaps with the support of his highly trained studio. Giotto gave this piece his typical signature (Opus Iocti Florentini), but even with that some had earlier doubted whether it was truly his work or not. This was an artist who preferred to sign the frame rather than fresco itself. It is now standard practice to place one's signature in the bottom left or right corner of a canvas.
Giotto would play a significant role in bridging the gap between art of the middle ages and encouraging the future styles found in the Italian-led Renaissance. He was one of a number of artists whose work would influence and inspire those that followed throughout the various stages of the Renaissance era. Related artists who also played a role in developing Italian and European art in or around this time included Masaccio, Annibale Carracci, Giovanni Bellini, Andrea Mantegna and Gian Lorenzo Bernini.