About Piro di Giovanni, Lorenzo Monaco, "The Monk"
Lorenzo Monaco (born Piero di Giovanni; c. 1365/1370 - 1424) was an Italian painter of the late Gothic-early Renaissance age. Biography
He as born Piero di Giovanni in Siena. Little is known about his youth years, apart from the fact that he apprenticed in Florence. He was influenced by Giotto and his followers Spinello Aretino and Agnolo Gaddi.
In 1390 joined the Camaldolese monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli. He was thenceforth generally known as Lorenzo Monaco (English: "Lawrence the Monk"). In the 1390s he executed three panels of the Biblioteca Laurenziana for his convent.
Starting from around 1404 his works show the influence of the International Gothic, of Lorenzo Ghiberti's earliest works and of Gherardo Starnina. From this period is the Pietà in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Florence. His works, often over a gilted 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 great number of saints and brilliant colors. In the late part of his life, Lorenzo did not accept the early 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 perspective is totally absent. Lorenzo's works remained popular in the 1420, 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. Accordinf to the Florentine historian, he died for a not well identified infection, perhaps a gangrene or a tumour.
His works include:
- Madonna and Child with Saints (1390s) - Louvre
- An altarpiece depicting the Coronation of the Virgin (c.1407-9) painted for the Camaldolese monastery
- Incidents in the Life of Saint Benedict (c.1407-9)
- The Nativity (1409), a panel believed to form part of a predella
- Coronation of the Virgin (1414), also for Santa Maria degli Angeli
- Adoration of the Magi (1422)