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Feast & Fast

The Art of Food in Europe, 1500 – 1800

232: The vision of San Francesco of Paola (1416 –1507)

The vision of San Francesco of Paola (1416 –1507) This three-dimensional portrait emphasises the simplicity of the founder of the Minims, a monastic order based on the rule of St Francis, committed to humility and non-violence. In addition to the three traditional monastic vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, Minims observed a fourth vow of abstinence from meat and other animal-derived food at all times, and so were committed vegans. The fifteenth-century Italian saint Francesco di Paola was known to have had great respect and compassion for all creatures, and legends grew up around his resurrecting of animals that had been killed to be eaten, for example his favourite trout, Antonella, and his pet lamb, Martinello.

Giovanni Antonio Colicci (active 1692 – 1740) Italy, 1725 Polychrome terracotta, glass and oil on panel, in original carved wood frame

Purchased with funds from Aldama, Henry Moore Foundation, V&A Purchase Grant Fund, and The Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum (M.2-2016)

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