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

Angels Worshipping (left side of the chancel)

Chapel, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence

In contrast to iconographical tradition, Gozzoli has not depicted the arrival of the procession but shows the events in the chronological order in which they happened in the biblical account of Christmas: the corner pilasters flanking the choir separate the earthly procession from the heavenly sphere of the angels. The angels - unrecognised by the humans - are paying homage to the Christ Child on the altar painting, while the Three Kings are still travelling and the shepherds in the fields are yet to experience the annunciation of the birth.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 4 minutes):
César Franck: Panis angelicus