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Lorenzo Monaco

active 1399; died 1423 or 1424
Lorenzo Monaco
Image: Lorenzo Monaco

Piero di Giovanni was one of the leading painters of Florence at the beginning of the 15th century. He is known as Lorenzo Monaco (Lorenzo the monk) because he took the name Lorenzo when he entered the Camaldolese monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in 1391.

Lorenzo painted four altarpieces for his Order. He died between 1422 and 1424. He was apparently from Siena, but worked in Florence. He may have been trained by Agnolo Gaddi and Jacopo di Cione. His activity can be traced back to the 1390s.

The influence of Sienese artists such as Duccio, led him to transform the sober style of late 14th- century Florentines such as Spinello Aretino into a graceful and sophisticated idiom. This in turn was influential on later Florentine painters, especially Masolino.