Editor's Note: The text below is from George R. Woodward, The Adoration of the Kings (London: The Medici Society, 1924).
The Procession of the Kings to Bethlehem
Details from the frescoes by Gonzzoli in the Riccardi Palace, Florence
Benozzo Gozzoli was born at Florence in 1320. He was a pupil of Fra Angelico. The city of Pisa contains his greatest work, the frescoes in the Campo Santo, which took sixteen years to complete. His best works in Florence are the frescoes representing The Procession of the Magi, which are still in brilliant condition on the walls of the Riccardi Palace; three details from these frescoes are reproduced below. Benzzo must be regarded as one of these great great masters of the Renaissance, and he excelled in the three unities of his calling – composition, drawing, and colour.
The Adoration of the Kings
|Sandro Botticelli||Pieter Brugehel||Antonio Allegri of Correggio|
|Albrecht Dürer||Gentile Massi (da Fabriano)||Giovanni Da Fiesole (Fra Angelico)|
|Tommaso Guidi Masaccio||Jan Mostaert||Cover from "The Adoration of the Kings," Rev. George R. Woodward, 1924|
The Adoration of the Kings
Sandro Botticelli was born in Florence about the year 1475. His father's name was Mariano Filipepi, and Sandro's real name was Alessandro Filipepi. He was apprenticed to a goldsmith named Botticelli, and thus came to be known by the name he has made so famous. Botticelli became the favourite painter of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and for him Botticelli painted his two most famous pictures, “The Allegory of Spring” (in the Academy, Florence) and the “Birth of Venus” (in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence). Botticelli died in 1510, and was buried in the Church of Ognissanti. Return
Pieter Brugehel, the Elder, so called to distinguish him from his son, was born near Breda in the first half of the sixteenth century. He was chiefly known as a painter of Flemish peasants and peasant subjects. His works ae rare and he is ranked as one of the greatest painters of the North of the sixteenth century. He died at Brussels in 1569. Return
Antonio Allegri was born at Coreggio (whence his name) in 1494. In spite of the great reputation he achieved, scarcely the bare outlines of his life are known. Correggio does not appear to have been well known among his contemporaries, but it is known that he painted in his native town and also in Parma. His first recognized picture is the altarpiece painted for the Convent of San Francesco at Correggio, now preserved in the Dresden Gallery. He died in his native town in 1534. Return
Albrecht Dürer was born in Nuremberg in 1471. As a draughtsman and engraver in wood and metal Dürer has no peer; while as a painter he takes rank only after the greatest of the world's masters. His astonishing youthful genius may be observed in the well-known drawing of himself in Vienna which he accomplished at the age of thirteen. He died in 1528 in his native city, having throughout his life fully obtained that recognition all over Europe to which his great talents entitled him. Return
Gentile Massi was commonly called Gentile da Fabriano, and received this name on account of his connection with Fabriano, where he was probably born. Very little is known of him, and even the dates of his birth and death are but conjectural. He was certainly working at the end of the fourteenth and beginning of the fifteenth centuries, and is known to have painted in Rome, Venice and Florence. Return
Giovanni da Fiesole, known to the world as Fra Angelico, was born at Vicchio in 1387. He became a Dominican friar at Fiesole in 1407, and probably began his career as an artist in the illuminations of missals. His splendid series of frescoes in the monastery of San Marco, in Florence, testify to his greatness. He died in Rome in 1455. Return
Tommaso Guidi Masaccio was born at Castel San Giovani di Valdarno in 1401, and belongs to the Florentine school. He worked in Rome and was admired by Michelangelo. His best-known works, which are still extant, are probably the fescoes he painted for the Carmine Church in Florence. He died at Rome at the early age of twenty-six. Return
Jan Mostaert was born at Haarlem about the middle of the fifteenth century. Very little is known of his life, but he was undoubtedly celebrated and esteemed as a painter of portraits and historical subjects. Unfortunately a great many of his works were lost in the great fire of Haarlem in 1571, some fifteen years after his death, which took place in that city. Return
Collections of Rev. George R. Woodward on this website include:
The Hymns and Carols for Christmas-tide (London: H. Grice, 1897)
The Cowley Carol Book for Christmas, Easter and Ascensiontide, First and Second Series (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd, 1902, 1912 Revised and Expanded Edition)
Songs of Syon (London: Schott & Co., Third Edition, 1908)
An Italian Carol Book (London: The Faith Press, Ltd., 1920); co-edited with Charles Wood.
The Babe of Bethlehem. Being Some Christmas Carols (Hillsgate Village, 1923)
The Cambridge Carol-Book. Being Fifty-Two Songs For Christmas, Easter, And Other Seasons. (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1924); co-edited with Charles Wood. Please note that content is limited to Christmas-related carols or hymns.
Photo Gallery from The Adoration of the Kings (London, Medici Society, 1924) [this page]
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