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

Madonna and Child Surrounded by Saints

San Francesco, Cappella di San Gerolamo, Montefalco

After completing the cycle of St Francis, Benozzo painted the first bay in the monastery church's southern side aisle, known as the Chapel of St Jerome. The main wall shows a painted polyptych, the Madonna and Child surrounded by Saints. This creates the illusion that it continues in the fresco painted above it, as if it were a realistic addition in front of the wall. The curtain and the shadows of the pinnacles and triangular gables make a considerable contribution to creating this impression. Benozzo's artistic capabilities here reached the highest level of illusion. It addition, it is remarkable that the artist "placed" the Gothic work within a classical framework which he signed OPUS BENOZII DE FLORENZIA.

Above the polyptych Christ on the Cross can be seen surrounded by four angels who are catching the blood dripping from his wounds. On either side below him, St Dominic and St Francis are kneeling on the left side, and St Romuald and St Sylvester on the right. The walls show St Jerome in the desert and the martyrdom of St Sebastian. In the vault the four evangelists appear with their attributes: St Matthew with the angel, St Mark with the lion, St Luke with the ox and St John with the eagle. On the arch separating the nave Christ delivering the blessing is portrayed. The left pilaster shows St Bernardine of Siena and the right one St Catherine of Alexandria.