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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art

Rimini: S Francesco

The church, built by the Franciscans in the second half of the 13th century, was chosen by the lords of Rimini as their burial place. Around 1450 it was enlarged and embellished by Sigismondo Malatesta: carved inscriptions in the building record that this work was in fulfilment of a vow taken during the Italic Wars, when Sigismondo’s troops served as mercenaries in the armies of Venice and Florence. This official motive must, however, have been accompanied by a strong desire for self-glorification. The work came to a halt in 1461. It was completed by the Franciscans over subsequent centuries but not to the intended scheme. The two easternmost chapels and the apse were added in the 18th century, and from about this period the church was also known as the ‘Tempio Malatestiano’.

Pier Giorgio Pasini