Benozzo Gozzoli

(c. 1421—1497)

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(b Florence, c.1421; d Pistoia, 4 Oct. 1497).

Florentine painter. He probably trained under Fra Angelico and he later worked as his assistant in Rome (1447) and Orvieto (1448). His reputation rests on only one work—but one of the most enchanting in all Italian Renaissance art: the decoration of the chapel of the Palazzo Medici in Florence with frescos of the Journey of the Magi (1459–61). This is the most glittering fresco cycle of the century, recalling, and perhaps consciously rivalling, Gentile da Fabriano's Adoration of the Magi of 1423. Its secular outlook is far removed in spirit from the work of his master Fra Angelico. The rest of Benozzo's career was busy but fairly unremarkable. His biggest undertaking was a fresco cycle of Old Testament scenes in the Campo Santo in Pisa; he began work on it in 1467 and spent most of the rest of his life in Pisa. The frescos were badly damaged by bombing in the Second World War. Benozzo also painted altarpieces, one of which (Madonna and Child with Saints, 1461–2) is in the National Gallery, London.

Subjects: Art.

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