In different areas of the monastery there are some fragments of frescos, which make it possible to distinguish two subsequent attempts at decorating the Church during the first half of the fourteenth century, evidence of the prestige of the monastery in that period. A first decorative phase dating back to the fourteenth century can be seen on the north wall of the bell tower where there are simple ornamental specimens with falling stars in relief on the white plaster background similar to those that originally decorated the Cathedral of Monza.
The Madonna of Mercy
A fresco, still in Byzantine style, of the fourth decade of the XIV century, represents the Madonna of Mercy, while on the walls of the bell tower of the former Church there are some surviving fragments of a fourteenth century cycle of great breadth, illustrating scenes of the life of Christ and images of devotion.
The Crucifixion and Saints
The fresco of The Crucifixion and Saints of 1354 is the only one in the Monastery of Saint Francis with an exact known date. On a wall of the corridor where the fresco was located before it was restored, there is a marble plaque with an engraved citation from the Memoirs of Conte Giorgio Giulini: “ISTUD ALTARE CUM PICTURIS QUE SUNT IN ISTO PARIETE FECIT FIERI DOMINUS GUIDOLUS PIXIT TUNC MARTEXANE PRO DOMINO MEDIOLANI MCCCLIIII.” The fresco is divided into two parts: on the right is the Crucifixion with a cross in the center and on the sides of the cross are the Virgin and Saint John, the Evangelist; on the left side are two Saints: Saint John of the Pilgrims and Saint Francesca Romana. The two scenes are separated by a slender twisted polychrome column. The work with its good composition shows a firm design and an expert use of color, and is proof of the diffusion of Giotto’s influence in all of Lombardy during the first half of the fourteenth century.