Granite: 5x11x3ft. 6.00 tons. Sold. Location: National Trust for Scotland Threave Garden, Dumfries and Galloway.
After being on loan to the NTS for three years St. Francis will now be staying on at Threave due to the generosity of long term NTS members George and Sue Thomas.
This emotive work depicts St. Francis lying in retreat on “that rugged rock twixt Tiber and Arno” as Dante described La Verna. The sculpture shows the saint surrounded by the birds that he loved and preached to. Brother Wolf is carved on the other side of the stone. Legend has it that St. Francis saved the village of Gubbio from being ravished of its flocks by persuading the people to feed the fierce hungry wolf. In return for this kindness the wolf became a friend to everyone and a follower of St. Francis and thereafter called Brother Wolf.
It has been written that on this mountainside St. Francis took on the stigmata – the wounds of Christ. In the sculpture Rae has given Brother Wolf the stigmata. Legend also says that when St. Francis died Brother Wolf was at his side.
The St. Francis stone from Tillyfourie in Aberdeenshire is of great geological interest being a mix of pink and silver-grey granite and dark grey basalt which fused together when the earth was formed. For this stone that happened 470 million years ago!
To see a short video of St. Francis being installed go to LATEST NEWS ON VIDEO at right margin and scroll down to Ronald Rae’s St. Francis sculpture moves to Threave Garden.