Benozzo Gozzoli

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Gozzoli, Benozzo

Gozzoli, Benozzo (bānôtˈtsō gôtˈtsōlē), 1420–97, Florentine painter, whose real name was Benozzo di Lese. He was apprenticed to Fra Angelico, first in Florence and later in Rome. Becoming independent in 1449, he chose to stay in Montefalco for a few years. There he created an altarpiece of a Madonna and Child with Saints and also frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis. Upon his return to Florence in 1459, he began his famous Journey of the Magi for the chapel in the Medici Palace. There he painted a magnificent cavalcade of pilgrims to Bethlehem, including animated portraits of contemporary Florentines. To represent the Magi he painted Lorenzo de' Medici and two leaders of the East, Patriarch Joseph and Emperor John Paleologus. Gozzoli depicted them in exotic Middle Eastern dress against a background of fantastic landscape and strange animals. From 1468 until almost his last days he decorated the Camposanto, Pisa, with scenes from the Old Testament.
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Gozzoli, Benozzo


(real name, Benozzo di Lese di Sandro). Born 1420, in Florence; died 1497, in Pistoia. Italian painter of the Early Renaissance.

Gozzoli studied with L. Ghiberti and Fra Angelico. In his work he treated religious subjects in a secular, poetic, and fairy-tale manner. Astute observations of life and decora-tively colorful tones are combined in his paintings with a tapestry-like composition and conventional handling of space (for example, the fresco The Magi, in the chapel of the Medici-Riccardi Palace in Florence, 1459).


Hoogewerff, G. Benozzo Gozzoli. Paris, 1930.
Bargellini, P. La fiaba pittorica di Benozzo Gozzoli, 2nd ed. Florence, 1947.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.