The Upper Church  - the Nave

So, a little more detail on the arrangement of the nave frescoes. The Life of St Francis scenes, the lower register in the four bays, start on the north wall in what is usually known, someone inconveniently, as bay four - the furthest  from the east wall entrance. The scenes then move along the north wall, on to the east wall, then back along the south wall, so the final scene, scene 28, is opposite the first scene in bay four. 
The Old Testament scenes all come from Genesis. They are on the north wall. They start in bay 4 with the Creation of the World, and continue in the top register to the story of Cain and Abel in bay 1. The story continues in the middle register back in bay 4 with Noah's ark and the flood, ending in bay 1 with story of Joseph. 
  The New Testament scenes on the south wall follow the same plan, which can be counter-intuitive, as for the viewer the scenes move from right to left, the opposite direction to the Franciscan scenes below.  The top register shows the early life of Christ, starting in bay 4 with the Annunciation and ending with the Baptism in bay 1. The story then starts again with the middle register in bay 4, starting with the wedding at Cana and proceeding through the Passion scenes to the Three Women at the Tomb in Bay 4. 

  The first twelve Franciscan scenes are underneath Old Testament images; the final twelve under New Testament ones. The four in the middle are adjacent to, or on, the east wall. In each bay, there is a relationship between the Franciscan episodes and the biblical ones above. What is rather more subtle is that there are also relationships across the bay between the Old and New Testament scenes and the Franciscan scenes below them.  One can imagine a preacher standing in the centre of one of the bays, illustrating what he had to say by pointing to the right and left.  In addition, the images overhead in the vault need to be considered too; sadly, some of these were badly damaged in the earthquake of 1997. 

  This creates a problem. What is the best way to present the images? The 28 Franciscan images are not strictly in chronological order, but mostly so. Presenting the frescoes bay at a time helps to understand the theology, but disrupts the narrative sequence. 
  My answer is to offer two versions of the images,  chronological, and bay at at a time. 

St Francis scenes chronologically               Bay 4       Bay 3         Bay 2       Bay 1       East wall       


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