St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata, c. 1760
ink, wash on paper
17.9 x 12.7 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with the National Trust Company Fund No. 1
Born in Venice, Jacopo Guarana followed in the Rococo tradition of Sebastiano Ricci and Giambattista Tiepolo, working against the Neoclassical style that had taken hold in many of the Italian schools, including in Venice. Accepted into the Accademia in Venice in 1756, Guarana went on to execute designs for many ceilings and domes in the city and surrounding towns. With its shaped composition and grid lines, this drawing of St. Francis receiving the stigmata clearly served as a preparatory study for a larger, finished work, perhaps an altarpiece. St. Francis is depicted with outstretched arms gazing upward in disbelief as the Holy Ghost appears to him in the form of a white dove. Images such as this, where saints were shown receiving the stigmata—the very wounds that Christ sustained on the cross—appeared in Italian painting as early as the fourteenth century.