WATCH: Famous painting of St. Francis comes to life

The Frick Collection in New York City houses a Bellini painting that can never leave the museum

St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is celebrated October 4th, is one of the best known saints in the world and this painting of him, called St. Francis in the Desert, may be one of the most beloved portraits of him ever done.

Painted by Giovanni Bellini around 1480, it was obtained by Henry Clay Frick in 1915 and immediately became one of his favorite pieces, even though religious art was not his cup of tea. Now part of the Frick Collection’s permanent collection, it still sits in the same room as it did when it arrived. Here, Colin B. Bailey, Associate Director, and Peter Jay Sharp, Chief Curator of The Frick Collection, bring this painting of Francis to life in this brief, informative tour.