Giambettino Cignaroli’s Ecstasy of Saint Francis at Pontremoli
Robert Randolf Coleman
In 1765, Verona’s premier painter, Giambettino Cignaroli (1706-70), completed a canvas representing Ecstasy of St. Francis for the main altar of San Francesco in Pontremoli. Painted toward the end of Cignaroli’s career, the altarpiece is one of two works that the artist produced in Verona for Tuscan patrons. Financed by Giuseppe and Lorenzo Pavesi, the St. Francis altarpiece is an example of the transformative eighteenthcentury patronage of the Pavesi and other lesser nobility which revitalized the city of Pontremoli with works of art by Italian artists of disparate backgrounds and styles during the course of the eighteenth century.