Benozzo Gozzoli (1420-97), St. Zenobius Resuscitating a Dead Child

Tempera on wood
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 15.106.3, Rogers Fund

The story portrayed here is first told in Lorenzo of Amalfitano's Vita (Acta Sanctorum, May vol. 6, 60). As St. Zenobius and his clergy were processing out of the Church of St. Peter, he was accosted by a distraught woman holding the dead body of her little child. At first he asked her to step aside, but she kept insisting that as pastor and father to the people of Florence he owed it to her to do something. So he knelt and prayed and voilà! the child arose to the joy of the people gathered about.

The narrow white church in the background is San Pier Maggiore as it looked at the time of the painting, before the improvements of 1638 and its demolition in 1784.

This is one of a set of four panels in the museum. The others are St. Peter and Simon Magus, The Conversion of St. Paul, and Totila Before St. Benedict.

More of St. Zenobius

Photographed at the Metropolitan by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.