January 19th, 2009


Procession of the Magi, Benito Gozzoli, ca, 1460, a fresco in the Medici family chapel in Florence showcasing three generations of Medici merchant-princes.

The springtime hope expressed by this painting was not false. Lorenzo de Medici, idealized as the boy rider leading the cavalcade, came to power nine years later and ruled Florence for thirty years as an enlightened hidden despot. He achieved reasonable political success – and reflected glory from the immortal art it was his policy to foster.

Pope PIus II (the urbane and cultured Aeneas Piccolomini) is put in his place in the second row as the rider in red hat and blue robe. He would I fancy have been much closer in spirit tomorrow to Gene Robinson than to Rick Warren.

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