Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippo de’ Medici and the Old Testament Murals in the Camposanto in Pisa (1468-1484)
Jean K. Cadogan
This paper explores the role of Filippo de’ Medici, Archbishop of Pisa (1426-1474, r. 1461-1474), in the creation of the Old Testament murals in the Camposanto, painted by Benozzo Gozzoli between 1468 and 1484. Pisa was absorbed into the growing Florentine territorial state in 1406 after a humiliating and bitter defeat. Filippo’s efforts to reorganize his diocese, to maintain the monuments of the Piazza del Duomo, and to rebuild the urban architectural fabric reveal the goal of establishing Pisa as the foremost city of Tuscany, second only to Florence. At the same time, Filippo was the key intermediary for the Medici regime in the delicate relationship of Florence and the papacy. The choice of Gozzoli to paint the murals, as well as the imagery of the Old Testament scenes themselves, reflect political and cultural realities in Italy at the end of the Quattrocento.