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This is Lorenzo Monaco

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By Gwylym Owen

Lorenzo Monaco (born Piero di Giovanni; c. 1370 – c. 1425) was an Italian painter of the late Gothic-early Renaissance age. He was born Piero di Giovanni in Siena. Little is known more or less his youth, apart from the fact that he was apprenticed in Florence. He was influenced by Giotto and his buddies Spinello Aretino and Agnolo Gaddi.

In 1390 he allied the Camaldolese monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli. He was thenceforth generally known as Lorenzo Monaco (English: “Lawrence the Monk”).

Starting from in version to 1404 his works sham the involve of the International Gothic, of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s antique works and of Gherardo Starnina. From this period is the Pietà in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Florence. His works, often exceeding a gilded background, showed in general a spiritual value, and usually did not feature profane elements.

In 1414 he painted the Coronation of the Virgin (now at the Uffizi), characterized by a good number of saints and brilliant colours. In the late ration of his life, Lorenzo did not accept the to come Renaissance innovations introduced by artists such as Masaccio and Brunelleschi. This is visible in the Adoration of the Magi of 1420–1422, where the now widespread geometrical position is unquestionably absent. Lorenzo’s works remained popular in the 1420s, as testified by the numerous commissions he received, such as the Stories of the Virgin in the Bartolini Salimbeni Chapel of Santa Trinita, one of his few frescoes.

Giorgio Vasari includes a biography of Lorenzo Monaco in his Lives. According to the Florentine historian, he died from an run of the mill infection, perhaps gangrene or a tumour.

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