TEXT BY: Lauren Glen Dunlap PAINTINGS AND PRINTS BY: Kathleen Frugé Brown
Prompted by the question of what it would have been like to be Francis, artist Kathleen Frugé Brown chose seven scenes from Francis’s life: giving alms to a leper, renouncing material possessions, cutting Clare’s hair, building a snow family, receiving the stigmata, composing “The Canticle of the Sun,” and dying. A common viewpoint unites the seven images: in each the viewer sees the scene as if through Francis’s eyes.
The accompanying text—one chapter per image—is also from a first-person perspective, with a voice that reveals as much about the man as do the stories he tells. In this creative but historically accurate “autobiography,” Francis is revealed as an intelligent, original, and decisive man seldom at a loss for words. This is Francis as he emerges from the morass of canonization and legend.