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

St Augustine Reading the Epistle of St Paul (scene 10, east wall)

Fresco, 220 x 230 cm
Apsidal chapel, Sant'Agostino, San Gimignano

In the following fresco, St Augustine hears a voice in the seclusion of a garden commanding him to "take up the book and read". Accordingly, he takes up the epistle of St Paul to the Romans, and starts reading Romans 13:13 ff., which warns sinners to "put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." On the right his intellectual friend Alypius is reaching out to him with his hand. Two old friends, on the left side, are keeping their distance from his on account of his change of faith. The phrase coined by St Augustine, "credo ut intelligam, intelligo ut credam" - "I believe that I might understand, and understand that I might believe" - appears to have been visually translated into this picture.