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Arrival in Milan
Eventually Augustine arrives in Milan. In the center someone is helping him with his boots; in the background he has taken off his blue robe and is kneeling before a man with a beard. This must be the Roman emperor Theodosius (Milan was then the capital of the empire) . On the right, he is talking to a figure in a blue robe. Notice this figure also has a halo, which tells us that this is St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. Augustine says of this meeting: “This man of God welcomed me with fatherly kindness and showed the charitable concern for my pilgrimage that befitted a bishop” (5.13.23). What is interesting is how much more prominent the Bishop is compared to the Roman emperor, indicating Augustine's slow movement away from an interest in worldly status, toward religious enlightenment.
The floor and the building are drawn in perspective, to suggest depth. This technique was just developed at this time, and Gozzoli is showing off his talent.
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Images are taken from: The Web Gallery of Art. Quotations from St. Augustine's Confessions, translated by Maria Boulding, O.S.B., (Hyde Park, New York: New City Press) 1997. Author: John Immerwahr, Update: April 7, 2008.