The theme of the exhibition L’arte di Francesco (The Art of Francis) at the Accademia Gallery in Florence is the artistic production by the Franciscan movement between the 13th and 15th century. This is not limited to artworks created in Italy, but extends to Asia, as a result of the Franciscans actively evangelising the region from the Holy Land all the way through to China.
Giunta Pisano (1190-1258) was the first official painter of the Franciscan Order and his work influenced many other painters in central Italy in the first half of the 13th century. He is considered to be the first national painter in the history of Italian art, a role that would later be assumed by greats like Cimabue and Giotto.
The Accademia Gallery’s vast collection of medieval paintings provides many of the exhibition’s artworks, but there are also works from other Italian museums like the National Museum of San Matteo in Pisa, the Civic Museum of Pistoia and the Diocesan Museum in Orte, as well as artefacts from the collection of the University Museum and Art Gallery of Hong Kong.