The Miracles of Saint Francis of Paula
Peter Paul Rubens
Arms outstretched, Saint Francis of Paola levitates while surrounded by a divine light. The crowd surges towards the saint, whose expression conveys his communion with God at the apex of the composition. Famed for his miraculous healing powers, Saint Francis of Paola was invited to France by the sickly King Louis XI, who is shown at the left with his royal court. In the foreground, a man and woman in paroxysms of insanity are restrained while awaiting their cure. To their right, a dead man comes to life as a sheet is symbolically lifted from his face. An assortment of people, some afflicted with blindness, deafness, lameness, or the infirmities of old age, ascend the stairs. The varied gestures and expressions enhance the dramatic effect of the whole.