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

The Coronation of the Virgin

Tempera on wood, 450 x 350 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

From the high altar of the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where Lorenzo was a monk. Signed and dated. The Scenes of the Life of St Benedict in the predella, with their fairy tale charm, are to be reckoned among the highest achievements of the master.

Lorenzo's elegant style reached maturity in this very large altarpiece.In this painting the edges of the figures' garments have an animation quite independent of the actual movement of the figures. Although the composition of the painting is quite conventional, the figures display a new fluidity in their poses and in the movements of their drapery which is suggestive of the International Style then being employed in sculpture by Ghiberti and Niccolò Lamberti. Surface patterns vie for attention with the volumes of the figures; even the superimposition of figures tends to read as pattern. Brilliant, light-toned colour and the lavish use of gold and expensive ultramarine blue pigment would have made the painting a strong focal point in the church and would also have testified to its importance and to the donor's extraordinary generosity.