Lorenzo Monaco

Born: 1370  - Death: 1425    Located in: International Gothic Room

Piero di Giovanni, called Lorenzo Monaco was a Florentine painter, also known as Lawrence the Monk. He gained this religious nickname from his time within the Camaldolese Monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli of Florence. He eventually left the Monastery to pursue a career as an artist, painting in the International Gothic style of the 14th Century, as well as in the style of the Sienese School of painting. In this respect Monaco merged the Sienese style with the prominent Florentine style of the time.

The Camaldolese manuscript illuminations and miniature works in the Laurentian Library in Florence are renowned works attributed to Monaco. His works in the Uffizi Gallery include, Coronation of the Virgin, originally painted for the Church of the Convento degli Angioli. Considered a masterpiece of the artist, it also depicts scenes from the life of Saint Benedict. The work shows a somewhat conventional composition for the time, but Monaco’s style is unique in the fluidity of movement in the figures and their drapery. The piece’s decorative use of gold and ultramarine blue pigment would have been a gem within the Church, and show that Monaco’s patron was indeed generous. (Kren and Marx, Web Gallery of Art)

Monaco’s other piece in the Uffizi Gallery is the, Adoration of the Magi, which was also added to by Cosimo Rosselli (1439 – 1507). This piece was created for the Church of Sant’Egidio in Florence. The Central panel was painted by Monaco, while the Prophets and the Annunciation in the upper section were by Rosselli. Monaco’s style used vivid colors with fluid and graceful lines, providing a transition from the Gothic style of artists like Duccio (1255 – 1260) and Giotto (1267 – 1337) into the Quattrocento artists he influenced such as Masaccio (1401 – 1428) and Fra Angelico (1395 – 1455). (Kren and Marx, Web Gallery of Art).

(A source of this text was taken from the www.wikipedia.org entry on Monaco, available through the GNU Free Documentation License.)

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