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

St Augustine Departing for Milan (scene 7, south wall)

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

St Augustine had left Rome in the autumn of 384 in order to take up the position of municipal teacher of rhetoric in Milan. St Augustine departing for Milan is depicted by Benozzo in the manner described in the Confessions, as a pilgrimage in search of the true faith. It is thought that the figure on the right edge of the picture is a self portrait of the artist. The gestures and facial expressions clearly express reserve, while at the same time his left hand is pointing at the travelling saint. Above the train of pilgrims two angels are holding an inscription which names the client and artist: ELOQUII SACRI DOCTOR PARISINUS ET ENGENS, GEMINGNACI FAMA DECUSQUE SOLI, HOC PROPRIO SUMPTU DOMINICUS ILLE SACELLUM INSIGNEM IUSSIT PINGERE BENOTIUM. MCVVVLXV - "As a teaching preacher in Paris and as an important [man], the fame and credit to the country of Gimignano, that Dominicus had this holy tabernacle painted at his own expense by the famous Benozzo. 1465."

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