Agnolo Bronzino

Agnolo Gaddi

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Andreadi di Bonaiuto

Andrea del Castagno

Andrea del Sarto

Andrea di Bartolo

Andrea Mantegna

Antonello da Messina

Antonio del Pollaiuolo

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolomeo di Giovanni

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benvenuto di Giovanni

Bernard Berenson

Bernardo Daddi

Bianca Cappello

Bicci di Lorenzo

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Buonamico Buffalmacco

Byzantine art



Dietisalvi di Speme

Domenico Beccafumi

Domenico di Bartolo

Domenico di Michelino

Domenico veneziano


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Eleonora da Toledo

Federico Zuccari

Filippino Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Fra Angelico

Fra Carnevale

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco Pesellino

Francesco Rosselli

Francia Bigio

Gentile da Fabriano


Domenico Ghirlandaio


Giorgio Vasari

Giotto di bondone

Giovanni da Modena

Giovanni da San Giovanni

Giovanni di Francesco

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni Toscani

Girolamo di Benvenuto

Guidoccio Cozzarelli

Guido da Siena

Il Sodoma

Jacopo del Sellaio

Jacopo Pontormo

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Vanni

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Lorenzo Monaco

Lo Scheggia

Lo Spagna

Luca Signorelli


masolino da panicale

master of monteoliveto

master of sain tfrancis

master of the osservanza

matteo di giovanni

memmo di filippuccio

neroccio di bartolomeo

niccolo di segna

paolo di giovanni fei

paolo ucello


piero della francesca

piero del pollaiolo

piero di cosimo

pietro aldi

pietro lorenzetti



sandro botticelli

sano di pietro


simone martini

spinello aretino

taddeo di bartolo

taddeo gaddi

ugolino di nerio



Benozzo Gozzoli, Madonna della Cintola 1450, tempera on panel, 133 x 165 cm, Pinacoteca, Vatican
I T Benozzo Gozzoli, Madonna della Cintola 1450, tempera on panel, 133 x 165 cm, Pinacoteca, Vatican

Travel guide for Tuscany

The wall paintings of Benozzo Gozzoli, the Madonna of the Girdle (La Madonna della Cintola)


Benozzo Gozzoli (c. 1421 - 1497) was an Italian Renaissance painter from Florence. He is best known for a series of murals in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi depicting festive, vibrant processions with wonderful attention to detail and a pronounced International Gothic influence.
According to Giorgio Vasari, in the early part of his career he was a pupil and assistant of Fra Angelico: some of the works in the convent of San Marco of Florence were executed by Gozzoli from Angelico's design. In 1444-1447 he collaborated with Lorenzo Ghiberti and his studio on the Paradise Doors of the Battistero di San Giovanni.
In 1459 Benozzo was summoned to Florence by the Medici to carry out the prestigious commission - the most important of his career - of decorating the walls of the Capella di Palazzo Medici-Ricardi. The subject chosen was the Procession of the Magi in which he portrayed various members of the Medici family, with its young princes handsomely, even flamboyantly dressed and all set against a wonderful landscape, creating the fairy tale of the Renaissance (1459-60).

Benozzo painted one of his highest quality paintings for the high altar of the church of San Fortunato in Montefalco: the Madonna della Cintola, which is now in the Pinacoteca Vaticana. The town of Montefalco presented the painting to Pope Pius IX (1846-1878).

Angels are surrounding Mary in a semi-circle and, as it were, form an aureole in which the arrangement of the angels' wings matches the points of a crown. The gold background, which in the Middle Ages was used to elevate the depicted scene and give it an unreal, supernatural element, had from the 15th century onwards been replaced by depictions of landscapes and architectural settings. By this time, the gold background was already much rarer in Italian painting and symbolizes the transcendental, divine space, increasing the distance between the saints and the secular world. The subject of Mary lowering her girdle is not mentioned in the Gospels, but in the New Testament Apocrypha, Thomas, one of the 12 apostles, doubted Mary's Assumption. The Virgin appeared to him and, as proof, gave the doubting apostle her girdle. The theme was particularly popular in Italian, and particularly Tuscan, art during the 15th century, for since 1365 the Madonna's girdle had been venerated as a relic in the cathedral of Prato. The lowering of the girdle was frequently depicted - another peculiarity of Italian art from the 15th century - in combination with the Assumption of the Virgin.

The pillars at the side of the altar panel contain depictions of saints, Sts Francis, Fortunatus and Anthony of Padua being on the left, Sts Louis of Toulouse, Severus of Montefalco, whose remains are kept in San Fortunato, and Bernadine of Siena are standing on the right side.

The predella contains six scenes relating episodes from the life of Mary. It begins on the left side with the Birth of Mary, continues with her Marriage, the Annunciation, the Birth of Christ and the Presentation in the Temple, and ends with the Death of Mary.


Benozzo Gozzoli, Madonna della Cintola 1450, tempera on panel, 133 x 165 cm, Pinacoteca, Vatican


Predella, scenes relating episodes from the life of Mary


Predella, Episodi della vita di Maria Vergine)
Benozzo Gozzolii, Madonna della Cintola (predella, scenes relating episodes from the life of Mary), 1450-52 tempera su tavola cm, Pinacoteca vaticana
 La nascita della Vergine e Sposalizio (Benozzo Gozzoli)   L'Annunziazione e Presepio (Benozzo Gozzoli)   Presentazione al Tempio e morte della Vergine (Benozzo Gozzoli)
 La nascita della Vergine e Sposalizio (Benozzo Gozzoli)   L'Annunziazione e Presepio (Benozzo Gozzoli)   Presentazione al Tempio e morte della Vergine (Benozzo Gozzoli)

[1] Source:


Art in Tuscany | Benozzo Gozzoli, The Magi Chapel in Palazzo Medici Riccardi of Florence

Arte in Toscana | La Madonna della cintola

Eventi in Toscana |La Madonna della cintola

Holiday accomodation in Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia | Artist and writer's residency


Podere Santa Pia
Podere Santa Pia, garden view, April
View from terrace with a stunning view over the Maremma and Montecristo


Villa Cahen

Vasari Corridor, Florence
Florence, Duomo