About this artwork

Cascading drapery folds complement the stylised curves of the Virgin's seated figure and the standing Christ Child. The throne with its lion's head finials and cloven-hoof feet probably refers to King Solomon's 'Throne of Wisdom'. This panel formed the central part of an altarpiece and would have been flanked by standing saints. A fragment of crimson drapery from one of these is just visible at the left edge. The sumptuous colour and exquisite decorative patterns designed to glow in candlelight indicate the richness of the original altarpiece.

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Lorenzo Monaco (Pier di Giovanni)

Lorenzo Monaco (Pier di Giovanni)

Lorenzo Monaco's elegant, elongated figures and the graceful, sweeping draperies he clothed them in developed from the Gothic tradition of painting in Florence. He was born in Siena as Piero di Giovanni, but adopted the name Lorenzo when he entered the Florentine Camaldolese Monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in 1391. He may have trained as an artist in the workshop of Agnolo Gaddi. The first record of him as a painter dates from 1399. His works include altarpieces and frescoes and he may also have illuminated manuscripts.