GOZZOLI, Benozzo
(b. ca. 1420, Firenze, d. 1497, Pistoia)

Madonna and Child between St Francis and St Bernardine of Siena

San Fortunato, Montefalco

Benozzo began his stay in Montefalco (Umbria) in the second half of 1449. There he at first worked in the monastery church of San Fortunato, renovated in 1446, which is situated 1,2 km outside the town on the road to Spoleto. Only fractions now remain of the cycle of frescoes dating from 1450. A lunette fresco of the Madonna and Child between St Francis and St Bernadine of Siena above the entrance portal has survived.

In the Sacra Conversazione, the Mother of God is flanked by St Francis on her left and St Bernardine of Siena on her right. At the height of the Madonna's shoulders, two worshipping angels are floating in the background. The Christ Child appears to float in her hands. The founder of the Franciscan order, and the Franciscan monk who was canonized in 1450, are both clad in a simple habit with a rope belt.