Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Procession of the Magi

Click to enlarge!

While in Tuscany, we made a day trip to Florence. I was extraordinarily excited to see a Renaissance era fresco (that I have been enchanted with forever) painted by Benozzo Gozzoli called The Procession of the Magi —Three Wise Men. Even though this was my third visit to Florence, I hadn't see this fresco yet. It's a large fresco in a relatively small chapel in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi in Florence. To me it's always seemed like a fairy tale of sorts, including princes, emperors and majestic horses, all in richly vibrant colors. The painting was commissioned by the Medici clan, and so several family members have been painted into the fresco. Nice nepotism, huh?...  but then again they had all the money and were supporting the artists, so they could do whatever they wanted. Perhaps it was the conception of the narcissistic selfie craze?

In Gozzoli's frescoes we see these noble faces. Shown below starting clockwise from the top left are Piero de' Medici, Lorenzo de' Medici as a young boy, Galeazzo Maria Sforza, who would later become the Duke of Milan, and Cosomo de' Medici. The photo at the top of this post shows a detail from the Magi Caspar, who was rumored to have idealized features of of Lorenzo de' Medici. Benozzo was pals with a few other other creative Italian Renaissance rock stars such as Vittorio Ghiberti, whose biggest claim to fame is the gold Baptistry doors, and Fra Angelico. Good company indeed.

Off we went to this small museum to see this glorious fresco. So imagine my disappointment when I found out that one day that I was in Florence—a Wednesday—the museum was closed!! (I confess, tears were involved.) We do our homework before traveling, but somehow missed the memo on this mid-week museum closing. Who closes museums on a Wednesday anyhow? Just another reason to go back to Florence, right?

I finally got to see this chapel and view these glorious frescoes. 
Click to read all about it.

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