Active in the third quarter of the thirteenth century, the Master of Saint Francis derives his name from a painting of Saint Francis from the Porziuncula Chapel now in Santa Maria degli Angeli at Assisi. He was also responsible for a cycle of frescoes in the nave of the Lower Church of San Francesco at Assisi. The present panel depicting Saints Bartholomew and Simon, one of thirteen, formed part of one of the greatest Italian altarpieces of the third quarter of the thirteenth century. It is likely that the altarpiece was commissioned for the main altar of the church of San Francesco al Prato in Perugia, where it would have stood over an early Christian sarcophagus containing the body of Saint Francis's follower, the Beato Egidio (d. 1261/62). The form of the painted arches in the altarpiece panels appears to derive from the sarcophagus, and the disposition of the two figures in the present work reflects the scheme of two figures in relief to the right of Christ on the sarcophagus.