During the period that Strozzi was caring for his mother he created St. Francis in Ecstasy. During this time Christian art was very popular and with it was the use of saints in every type of work. Saints are thought to be the ears of god and everything or situation has a saint. Strozzi used many different saints in his works and one if his most notable works he used St. Francis of Assisi. According to Terry Jones, St. Francis “took the Gospels as the rule of his life, Jesus Christ as his literal example. He dressed in rough clothes, begged for his sustenance, and preached purity and peace. His family disapproved, and his father disinherited him; Francis formally renounced his wealth and inheritance. He visited hospitals, served the sick, preached in the streets, and took all men and women as siblings, visited and preached to the Saracens, composed songs and hymns to God and nature, lived with animals, worked with his hands, cared for lepers, cleaned churches, and sent food to thieves. He began to attract followers in 1209, and with papal blessing, founded the Franciscans based on a simple statement by Jesus: “Leave all and follow me.” In 1212 Clare of Assisi became his spiritual student, which led to the founding of the Poor Clares. In 1221 he resigned direction of the Franciscans. While in meditation on Mount Alvernia in the Apennines in September 1224, Francis received the stigmata, which periodically bled during the remaining two years of his life. This miracle has a separate memorial on 17 September.”
The main focal point of this painting is the halo, also referred to as a nimbus. This is placed behind the heads of religious figures and symbolizes eternal life or eternity. Strozzi had not come out of his Carravogesque habits being that this is an early work and therefore uses deep colors conveying death. The contrast between the dark back ground and the halo makes this the focal point of the painting. The expression on St. Francis’ face suggests that he is having a very passionate experience looking upward presumably toward heaven.