Florentine School. Pupil of Fra Angelico in painting and Lorenzo Ghiberti in metal work. His most important works are his frescoes in the Campo Santo at Pisa and the Medici Palace at Florence.
LONDON, NATIONAL GALLERY
THE VIRGIN ENTHRONED. The Virgin seated with the Child on her knees. Behind and above the throne are five angels with wings extended. On the left St. John the Baptist and St. Zenobius in an embroidered cope; on the right St. Peter and St. Dominic; in front, kneeling, St. Jerome and St. Francis. All the Saints have their names inscribed on their nimbi.
Painted in 1461 as the altar-piece of the Confraternity of the Purification of the Virgin and of St. Zenobius. The original contract for the painting, still in existence, enjoins that the figure of the Virgin is to be made similar to that by Fra Angelico at San Marco (now in the Academy) at Florence, and that ” the said Benozzo shall, at his own cost, prepare with gesso and diligently gild the panel throughout… and that no other painter shall be allowed to take part in the execution thereof.”
Three of the predella paintings are respectively at Berlin (A Miracle of St. Zenobius), Milan (Brera Gallery, No. 475, St’ Doncinic restoring the Boy Napoleon), and Buckingham Palace (The Death of Simon Magus).
Purchased at Florence from the heirs of the Rinuccini Estate in 1855.
THE TRIUMPH OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS A large altar-piece in three stages. In the uppermost Christ in a glory above St. Paul, Moses, and the Evangelists, each with his emblem. In the middle stage are larger figures of 5t. Thomas Aquinas on a throne with books open on his knees, between Aristotle and Plato, while at his feet lies the vanquished enemy of the friars, Guillaume de St. Amour. In the lowest stage the Pope, Alexander IV. (on the left), accompanied by his Cardinals, presides at the Council of Agnani.
Painted about 1480 for the Cathedral at Pisa.