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St Francis for Protestants

Henk van Os

20 pages
Amsterdam University Press
Lorenzo Monaco's striking fifteenth-century portrayal of the stigmatisation of St. Francis was once owned by the art collector Otto Lanz. What prompted Lanz to buy Monaco's painting in the 1920s? Was it simply because he saw it as a beautiful, unique work of art? Or was there something more-could Lanz have been drawn in by the mystical experience that the painting depicts? In this essay, Henk van Os attempts to uncover the motivation for Otto Lanz's purchase, in the process raising provocative questions about our relationship to religious art in a more secular era.