Benozzo Gozzoli

By: Rachel Widrig


Benozzo Gozzoli was born in 1420 in Florence, Italy by the birth name Benozzo di Lese di Sandro. He was initially trained to be a goldsmith, but began working as an assistant of Fra Angelico at the age of 27 in Rome. He also spent portions of his life living and working in various locations such as a Umbria, Tuscany, Pisa, and Pisola. Also, Benozzo had seven children throughout the time of his life. Benozzo created many types of art including altarpieces, tabernacles, frescoes, and paintings using oil. He also decorated chapels throughout Tuscany, Umbria, and Rome. His patrons were Pope Nicholas V, The Medici family, and the commune of Pisa. Benozzo is linked to Individualism and scientific naturalism because of the detail he uses in his work to portray differences in every man, animal, and scene, as well as accurately showing a scene in terms of what is happening in that exact moment. He includes flaws that occur in real life without exaggerating or depleting them. He also included himself in some of his paintings showing his achievement.

Benzzo's Work

Benozzo created many works of art during his time including a fresco piece he made in 1459 called "Procession of the Magi". It is found in The Magi Chapel in Palazzo Medici Riccardi of Florence, Italy. This painting shows many men, women, and horses as well as exotic animals making their way up a rocky cliff. It also includes many plants and wild animals in the background of the scene. Benozzo uses perspective to show differences in the locations of the people and to show movement throughout the painting. This painting relates to scientific naturalism. It shows real aspects of the world and a detailed view of what the world was at the time, including different types of animals, wild and tamed, almost perfectly represented in the scene. There are no unrealistic or exaggeratedly religious facets included in this piece of his work. This painting is significant because painted into it are wild animals from foreign places contained on leashes. This is important because people who lived in Italy found these exotic animals very interesting and beautiful mainly because they had no chance of seeing them themselves ever in their lifetime. This shows that the times have changed because he is able to add in creatures from other places without making it unrealistic. I found this piece interesting because it is detailed and every face is structured differently and has a different expression. I find it interesting to look at because there are so many things to look at and so much detail in every corner of the painting.

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"Benozzo Gozzoli." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. Gale, 1990. Biography in Context. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.

"Journey of the Magi." N.p., 2006. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.