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Origins and Thesis

Research

Development

Conclusion

[ Thesis

Benozzo Gozzoli’s fresco cycle, Procession of the Magi, is located in the in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Florence, and is a perfect microcosm of the contradictions and curiosities that surround this artist’s career and work. Existing art historical analysis of this fresco cycle duly notes Gozzoli’s talent for wedding narrative, style, and innovative artistic techniques to reflect the power and prestige of the Medici, however, it does not fully identify or examine the contradictions and curiosities that make Gozzoli’s Procession and his artistic talent wholly unique. Therefore, it is worthwhile to examine the function and purpose of the Medici’s Chapel of the Magi and Gozzoli’s Procession, and the artist’s technical virtuosity and unique style.

[ Curiosities & Contradictions

The Chapel of the Magi and Procession of the Magi: A Place of Worship (Piety) and an Audience Hall (Power)

The Artist, Benozzo Gozzoli: Technical Virtuosity, Influences and Unique Style, Self-Portraits and Signatures

Art Historical Examination and Analysis: Gozzoli Scholars, Sources and Documents, Reputation and Legacy

Curiosities and Contradictions

in Benozzo Gozzoli’s

Procession of the Magi (1459-1461)

[ Sources and Evidence

There are many primary and secondary sources that discuss Benozzo Gozzoli and The Procession of the Magi, but as a rule, these sources only provide a brief overview and analysis of the artist and his fresco cycle. Existing early documents on the artist include surviving contracts for commissions, letters from Gozzoli and Roberto Martelli to Piero de Medici, and an entry in Giusto d’Andrea’s Diario. Giorgio Vasari discusses the artist and his work in his Lives, and later analyses and evaluations of both the artist and the fresco cycle are provided by three Gozzoli scholars: Anna Padoa Rizzo, Diane Cole Ahl, and Christina Acidini Luchinat.

Research

Benozzo Gozzoli’s Procession of the Magi

[ Gaps in Scholarship

On one hand, Benozzo’s paintings are a fresh and

lively interpretation of both the Early Renaissance

and International Gothic styles, and his inventive

techniques and beautiful portraits and gestures elevate

him to the stature and ability of a master artist. On the other hand, this talented Renaissance artist has been almost universally disregarded, ignored, and even criticized by modern art historians. QUESTIONS: Why was Gozzoli hired for important commissions if he was disregarded by peers and critics? Why is this fresco cycle disregarded and not considered an influential work? What makes this fresco cycle unique and worthy of recognition?

Development

Benozzo Gozzoli’s Procession of the Magi

[ Progression of Topic

The shape of my analysis of the curiosities and contradictions surrounding Benozzo Gozzoli and his Procession of the Magi changed very little as it progressed. After the first draft I switched two sections of my paper so the historiography preceded the information on the artist and fresco cycle. In the second draft, I refined my thesis and wrote the introductory paragraph and first two sections. As I was writing the third draft, I discovered art historian Anna Padoa Rizzo's scholarship on the artist and his work. She is considered a top Gozzoli scholar, however, because most of her work on the artist has not been translated into English, I have only been able to include one brief essay on Gozzoli’s fresco cycle as it relates to the Chapel of the Magi.

[ Problems Encountered and Overcome

The only problem I've encountered as I've researched my topic is finding Anna Padoa Rizzo's research translated from Italian to English. I will use her one essay in my paper, include explanations in extended footnotes, and if I expand this topic into my graduate thesis, I will have more of her work translated into English.

[ Final Assessments

Benozzo Gozzoli and his fresco cycle, Procession

of the Magi, is surrounded by curiosities and contradictions that go beyond the wedding

of narrative, style, and innovative artistic

techniques to reflect the power and prestige

of the Medici. These curiosities and

contradictions prove that the artist

possessed wholly unique artistic

talent, and the function and

purpose of the Medici’s Chapel

of the Magi and Gozzoli’s

Procession, are a fresh and lively

interpretation of both the Early

Renaissance and International

Gothic styles, and his inventive

techniques and beautiful portraits

and gestures elevate Gozzoli to the stature

and ability of a master artist.

Conclusion

Curiosities and Contradictions in Benozzo Gozzoli’s Procession of the Magi

[ Unsolved Problems and Future Research

It is worthy to continue to study Benozzo Gozzoli and his Procession of the Magi in order to further examine his legacy and reputation. Why has this artist been overlooked, criticized, and disregarded?

It is also important to conduct an in-depth study of the iconography and iconology of Procession of the Magi, especially as it relates to the placement of the figures, the costumes and dress of the figures, the flora and fauna, and the birds and other animals.