BICCI, Lorenzo di
(b. ca. 1350, Firenze, d. ca. 1427, Firenze)


Italian painter. Lorenzo di Bicci's father was probably also a painter but all that is known of him is the name Bicci, the patronymic of Lorenzo (and probably a nickname for Jacopo). By 1370 Lorenzo had enrolled in the Florentine painters' guild.

His first documented work, datable to shortly after April 1380, is a panel depicting St Martin Enthroned (Florence, Depositi Galleria) painted for the Arte dei Vinattieri (the wine-merchants' guild), to be mounted in the Florentine church of Orsanmichele on a pilaster assigned to that guild on 30 April 1380. The predella (Florence, Accademia) depicts the episode of St Martin Dividing his Cloak with the Beggar. In 1385, together with the painters Agnolo Gaddi, Corso di Jacopo and Jacopo di Luca and two goldsmiths, Piero del Migliore and Niccolò de Luca, Lorenzo was called on to value the statues of Faith and Hope by Giacomo di Piero, created for the spandrels of the Loggia della Signoria in Florence (in situ). He was also commissioned to apply the blue enamelled ground and to gild the statues, for which work he was paid in several instalments, on 8 and 28 June, 12 October and 22 November 1386.

Lorenzo di Bicci, an exponent of the more traditional current in 15-century Florentine painting, was the founder of one of the largest and most active artistic workshops in the city. He was joined by his son Bicci di Lorenzo (whose works can be found in a great many churches in the countryside), during the 15th century, and followed by his grandson Neri di Bicci, who, after a period of apprenticeship, inherited both the workshop management and clients. The dynasty's most prosperous period was under the direction of Neri di Bicci, whose paintings were sought by members of every level of society.

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