(b. ca. 1420, Firenze, d. 1497, Pistoia)
Madonna and Child with Sts Francis and Bernardine, and Fra Jacopoc. 1452
Tempera on panel, 34 x 54 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The mural paintings of San Francesco in Montefalco, on the whole well preserved and recently restored, provide evidence of Benozzo's growing sense of personal achievement. From 1450-02 onward the demand for works of art and figurative cycles from Benozzo intensified, and once again his clients were the Franciscans. From this period originates the Madonna and Child with Sts Francis and Bernardine, and Fra Jacopo in Vienna.
The Madonna is resplendent amidst gold, red and pale vair, against a backdrop that appears to be nighttime view of a wood, although checks need to be made to see if there has been any alteration in the pigments or binders of the greens.