FIORENZO DI LORENZO
(b. ca. 1445, Perugia, d. ca. 1522, Perugia)

Biography

Italian painter and architect. The earliest reliable document to mention him is dated 20 May 1463, when he was appointed in place of his father, Lorenzo di Cecco, to vote for the Capitano del Popolo. Between 1463 and 1469 his name appears on the register of painters of Perugia. In 1470 he was treasurer of the painters' guild, and in 1472 he was elected its prior for November-December. On 9 December that year the Sylvestrine monks of Santa Maria Nuova, Perugia, commissioned him to paint a double-sided polyptych (Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia) for the main altar of their church; he did not complete it until 1493. From the tenor of the contract and the substantial sum agreed - 225 ducats - it appears that Fiorenzo was then considered the best of the young painters working in Perugia. In 1476, while the plague was becoming increasingly rampant, he painted a fresco of the Madonna of Mercy (Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia) for the hospital of S. Egidio (destroyed), Perugia. Originally signed and dated, the work is badly damaged but remains of fundamental importance for understanding the art of Fiorenzo's early maturity. While its subject is characteristic of local plague banners, its style is directly related to Florentine art of the same period, for example in its use of the perspective device of square paving stones. Other elements recall the ambience of the Rossellini brothers and Andrea del Verrocchio, especially the motif of the angels flying overhead.

The list of some fifty pictures which modern critics have ascribed to Fiorenzo includes works of widely varied character, and in some cases his authorship is very questionable.