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Benozzo Gozzoli

Gozzoli, Benozzo (bānôtˈtsō gôtˈtsōlē) [key], 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: European Art to 1599: Biographies


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