This amazing painting by Giotto captures the dramatic moment when St. Francis of Assisi (on the right, naked) throws off all his clothes in protest to his father (being restrained on the left), who was a rich merchant.
Francis says that he will from now on only follow his “heavenly father” (you can see the hand of God at the top of the painting).
I love the expression on the bishop’s face (who covers up Francis), the children front left who are caught up in the drama without really understanding what is going on, the onlookers, who probably also weren’t exactly sure what was going on apart from a domestic row, and the way Giotto uses the building to highlight the conflict between the two parties.
I wrote this poem about this moment in Francis’ life, captured so beautifully by the painting:
The bishop holds him
like a child
And in his nakedness
we see our own condition