Madonna and Belt - Benozzo Gozzoli. 133x164
Florentine artist Benozzo Gozzoli painted this altarpiece for the church of San Fortunato in Monte Falco. He portrayed the scene when Madonna descends from the sky and he gives the Apostle Thomas, who was not present at Her death, burial and ascension to heaven, and therefore did not believe what was happening, a belt from his dress. In the predella, the painter placed six compositions with episodes from the life of Mary: Her Christmas, the marriage with Joseph, the Annunciation, the Nativity of Christ, the Circumcision of Jesus and the Assumption of the Virgin.
A student of Beato Angelico, Gozzoli took from his mentor a love of light, lyrical compositions written in radiant, transparent colors. Mary is sitting on a cloud surrounded by angels, one of which plays the lute. Saint Thomas, falling to one knee, reverently takes the belt from Her hands. The golden background seems to penetrate everywhere, saturating the delicate and rich colors - blue, pink, red - with radiance. The scene depicted is filled with air and is marked by the elated mood in which the apostle is.
The scenes from the life of the Mother of God placed below are varied in their decision. In the “Nativity of Christ”, a crib that occupies the entire space is illuminated by the radiance emanating from the Baby. Mary is kneeling before the Son, having folded her hands prayerfully and looking at Him with tenderness, Joseph sits with his cheek on his hand, and looks with tenderness at Jesus, and the ox and donkey bow to Him, feeling the sacredness of what is happening. Thanks to colors, lively poses, gestures and the finely conveyed mood of the characters, these images evoke a sense of magic.