Italian cardinal and art patron Gentile Partino da Montefiore died on 27 October 1312 in Lucca. He had donated 600 florins for the dedication of a chapel at San Francesco at Assisi earlier that year. Most scholars agree that the funds went toward the decoration by Simone Martini of the Lower Church chapel dedicated to St. Martin, the patron saint of Gentile’s titular church in Rome. Simone portrayed the cardinal kneeling before St. Martin above the entrance to the chapel and visible from inside. A novelty is the depiction of saint and cardinal in a naturalistic proportional relationship, rather than showing the donor as much smaller in reference to his lower status. Simone’s frescoes, completed between 1320 and 1325, are recognized as some of the most spectacular in the Lower Church.

Reference: “Gentile da Montefiore.“ Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. .

Simone Martini, frescoes from the Cappella di San Martino, Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi, 1320-25

Cardinal Gentile Partino da Montefiore kneels before St. Martin, entrance wall

St Anthony of Padua and St Francis, intrados of entrance arch

Scenes from the Life of St. Martin, left wall; right wall

Division of the Cloak (scene 1)

St Martin is Knighted (scene 3)

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