(b. ca. 1370, Siena (?), d. ca. 1425, Firenze)


Tempera on panel, 66 x 43 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

There are four panels in the Metropolitan Museum in New York representing Old Testament patriarchs, which are among the finest works of Lorenzo Monaco, who, at the time the panels were painted, was the leading master in Florence. The four patriarchs (Abraham, Noah, Moses, and David) are each portrayed seated on a cut stone bench or chest set on a fictive marble dais, which is alternately pink with a strip of green in the foreground (Noah and David) or green with a strip of violet in the foreground (Abraham and Moses).

Abraham wears a pink tunic with green shadows, a violet cloak with pink highlights, and a white shawl draped over his shoulders. He holds a silver sword and a firebrand in his right hand and lays his left on the head of his son, Isaac, kneeling in profile before him, dressed in an orange tunic over a gray robe.

The function of these four paintings, possibly as flanking elements of an altarpiece, has been debated.