St Francis of Assisi received the stigmata (wounds) of Jesus Christ while praying at La Verna in 1224. These wounds emanated from a vision of a seraph in the form of a cross, and consisted of nail marks on his hands and feet, and a gash in the side of his chest. The stigmata remained until his death two years later and became the defining miracle of St Francis’s life. Palma’s drawing shows the clouds parting to reveal the heavenly apparition which bears light down upon the kneeling Saint. This drawing was a preparatory study for an altarpiece in the Chiesa dell’Angelo Rafaelle in Venice, which Palma completed in the 1620s.