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Sinopia paintings from the Tabernacle of the Visitation


Current location: Benozzo Gozzoli Museum
Address: Via A. Testaferrata, Castelfiorentino

The Expulsion of Joachim (sinopia), Tabernacle of the Visitation, Benozzo Gozzoli Museum, Castelfiorentino.

The Expulsion of Joachim (sinopia), Tabernacle of the Visitation, Benozzo Gozzoli Museum, Castelfiorentino.

Joachim’s Dream, Tabernacle of the Visitation, Benozzo Gozzoli Museum, Castelfiorentino.

Joachim’s Dream, Tabernacle of the Visitation, Benozzo Gozzoli Museum, Castelfiorentino.

Encounter of Joachim and Anne near the Porta Aurea (Golden Gate), Tabernacle of the Visitation, Benozzo Gozzoli Museum, Castelfiorentino.

Encounter of Joachim and Anne near the Porta Aurea (Golden Gate), Tabernacle of the Visitation, Benozzo Gozzoli Museum, Castelfiorentino.

The tabernacle of the Visitation is displayed together with several preparatory drawings (sinopia paintings) discovered during the 1965 removal of frescoes from the walls of the chapel entryway with the 'strappo' (detachment) technique – these drawings were used by Benozzo Gozzoli to outline the composition of the scenes to be painted.

These figures - works of art on par with the full paintings themselves - were salvaged with the same recovery procedure and are exhibited together with the fresco paintings.

Benozzo Gozzoli used the sinopia technique with great skill in both his marking and his facility of execution, as demonstrated in the numerous sinopia paintings discovered and preserved up to now. To these can be added the Virgin Enthroned with Child, rediscovered at the original site of the Madonna of the Cough paintings – the small oratory along the road from Castelfiorentino to Castelnuovo - in October 2008 during the outfitting of the new Museum. This finding once again confirms the consistent use of this technique by Benozzo to sketch out the preparatory drawings for his mural paintings and his personal predilection for sinopia painting, which had already fallen into disuse starting in the mid-fourteenth century, having been replaced by 'cartooning' and the transfer of designs with the popular 'strappo' (detachment) method.

List of sinopia paintings on exhibit:

1. Fragments of Nativitą

2. Joachim Expelled from the Temple

3. Encounter of Joachim and Anne near the Porta Aurea

4.Fragments of the artificial altar-piece: Madonna with Child between the Saints Paul, Lawrence, Stephen and Peter who are standing, with Saint Francis and Saint Claire kneeling

5. The Doctors of the Church and the Evangelists: Saint Ambrogio and Saint John, Saint Augustine and Saint Luke

6. The Doctors of the Church and the Evangelists: Saint Matthew and Saint Gregory, Saint Mark and Saint Jerome

7. Dream of Joachim

8.Fragment of Saint located in the semi-pillars

9.Fragment of Saint located in the semi-pillars

10.Fragment of Saint located in the semi-pillars

11. Archangel Gabriel (?)

12. Announced Virgin

13. Archangel Michael