Gentile was born in Fabriano in the Marches, and first worked in Venice; his early frescoes are now destroyed. By 1422 he had joined the Florentine guild, and started a workshop. He later worked in Rome for Pope Martin V.
He is regarded as a leading exponent of the so-called International Gothic style, and his pictures are elegant and stylish. In fact his unifying use of light predates Masaccio. He probably taught Jacopo Bellini in Florence.