While a direct prototype for this composition has so far proved elusive, the author of this work was clearly directly inspired by the leading artists based in Antwerp in the first decades of the 17th century – Sir Peter Paul Rubens and Sir Anthony van Dyck. It is difficult to exaggerate the extent of these masters' pervasive and far-reaching influence on both their contemporaries and artists of successive generations. This composition is executed in the spirit of the monochrome oil sketches produced by both painters. The dynamic folds of drapery and the forceful devotional expression of Saint Francis’ outstretched hand also reflect the impact of Italian art on Flemish painting at this time.
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