Camaldolese Artists: Lorenzo Monaco

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Camaldolese Artists. Lorenzo Monaco (monk) 14th century.

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#item-set-180

Guido d'Arezzo, rich poet (not the earlier Guido d'Arezzo, 250 years earlier)

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Today we're going to cover probably our most eminent painter, Lorenzo, it goes by the name
Lorenzo Monaco, Lawrence the Monk.
His last name is not Monaco.
Before we begin, I want to mention these two sources.
This is the best thing on Lorenzo Monaco.
It is a doctoral dissertation by Marvin Eisenberg, I think I have the date right, 1987, on Princeton
University Press.
It's about the size of our sacramentary, but only half as thick, and the color is the color
of yellow on, sort of the colors are the colors of Lorenzo Monaco's t-shirt, those two mixed
together.
It's missing.
So you want to keep your eye peeled for this, it was evidently in the room I'm staying in,
in one of the drawers, and it's gone now, and hopefully it's still in print at Princeton,
if not so we can get another copy.
But it's a $200 volume, so you want to keep an eye peeled for that.
This is an excellent source, all the way around.
Luciano Belosi is probably the foremost, well the ones I know, I have maybe photocopied
articles from maybe ten Italians, and Belosi is probably the one who treats Lorenzo with
authority, in Italy.
And he is the author of the text which goes to this particular number 73 of this Italian
series out of Milan, Maestri del Colore, Master's Color.
And this is a wonderful little, that's another copy of it, there it was.
And, did you see that commodity, they have the whole set of items like this, stacked
on the floor.
Anyway, so Robert has this, if you want to see this at some point.
I was mentioning, Joshua, while you were out, that this main book from the library, it's
not there, so it's still missing, so you want to keep your eye peeled for that book on Lorenzo
Monaco.
It's a $200 volume, it's kind of important that we find it, and maybe you'll find it
in a drawer sometime.
Okay, Lorenzo was a close contemporary, and at one point worked, collaborator, with the
artist, Fra Angelico, now Saint Angelico, and we do not know the exact year of day,
year of birth for Lorenzo, but they generally say about 1370.
There is an important German scholar of earlier times of Lorenzo Monaco named Hans Bronau,
who says, you know, it's much earlier, but all the other ones, all the other critics
laughed at him because he was only doing that so he could prove his theory about a certain
painting.
And so, they think it's about this, it isn't an earlier date.
It can possibly be as late as 1375, Isenberg says, but if you say 1370, it's close enough,
because they don't have the exact date, so who's going to argue?
And we think he was born in Siena.
They don't even know where he was born, but they're pretty sure from certain indications
that it was Siena.
And he was brought as a baby to Florence by his father Giovanni.
And I mentioned, I put the district of Florence that he was, where he grew up in, San Michele
Vizdomini, or sometimes you'll see it Vizdomini, because for Camomile's history, this is an
important district.
We had a number of eminent Camomiles come out of this parish, San Michele Vizdomini.
In fact, I think we're going to run into another one yet in this series of lectures, another
artist who's from that same parish in Florence.
His name, Lorenzo Monaco, and I put that on there also, he's Peter of John, his father's
John, Peter of John, and his religious name was Lorenzo.
And the reason I put that up there is because many of his paintings were painted by Peter
of John, not before he was a monk, but while he was a monk, and we'll get to that afterwards.
But Lorenzo Monaco and Piero di Giovanni, the same artist, the same person.
We do know that Pietro, or Piero, became a monk of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
Usually you will see this in our history books, and now in these beautiful books on the manuscript,
the illuminations and whatnot, of this most, probably the most famous of our monasteries
outside the Camomile.
They're mentioned as, they'll just say, gli Angeli, the angels.
And when you see that, they're referring to this famous monastery, Santa Maria degli Angeli,
in Florence.
He entered there in 1390.
At least they have that date in the annals of the house.
This particular monastery had been founded in the year 1295, as a hermitage modeled upon
the Sacro Eremo itself, a come out of it.
It was founded by a rich poet named Guido d'Arezzo.
So this is a different Guido d'Arezzo, either that or the other one's 250 years old.
Also known as Guitone d'Arezzo.
And he was a member of the Order of the Gaudenti, which was a militant order of the Blessed
Virgin Mary at that time.
It was sort of like a super fraternity, club.
Locally in Florence, they called them the Caponi, which means the Capons, because the Florentines
thought they were fat, lazy, and passivists.
All three things you shouldn't be in Florence in the 14th century and 15th century.
So they made fun of them.
Also, they were called Capons because they liked to dress in bright, flowing robes, and
I guess most people were laughing at them, basically.
But the house was set up, and its lifestyle was also set up, modeled upon life at the
Sacro Eremo, the come out of it itself.
This lasted, this is all said parenthetically, until the year 1470, at which time this hermitage
became a cenote.
So, the reason I'm pointing this out is because you see that when Lorenzo's there, it's still
a hermitage, and it has a lot stricter cloister and rules and whatnot than it would have had
two generations down.
And because of that, his life was affected by that fact, as we'll see.
Don Lorenzo was professed on December 10th, 1391.
Remember now, whenever we're talking about novitiates and professions and all of that,
in these early centuries, it can all happen in a year's time.
We're not talking about three years of juniorhood, and this and that, and apostasy, and whatnot.
It can all happen very quickly.
Usually, the novitiate is a year or longer, but that's it.
Then you make profession, and profession is for life, and you are a month for life.
So, he professed in 1391, and he received all four of the minor orders during that same
month, after his profession.
But he was never ordained a priest.
He did receive the diaconate nine months later, on September 21st, 1392.
I'm throwing out these dates, because these are the only dates we have on it, are these
things.
We don't know the birth and the death.
We'll get to that.
We don't even know the death.
He was ordained a deacon, but he was never ordained a priest.
In other words, he was not to become, as they said at that time, un monaco da mesa.
So, in other words, he wasn't going to be a mass monk, a mass priest.
At that time, most monasteries, most monk priests were precisely that.
I mean, their priesthood was just celebrating the Eucharist.
Other than that, they weren't into any outside pastoral work, or anything like that.
So it's said sort of tongue-in-cheek, un monaco da mesa.
He had some artistic training, we know, before he came into the monastery, because he entered
there already with some notoriety.
And his fame, once he got in there and started producing from the monastery, spread rapidly.
A number of students and co-workers, even in those early years, so the mid-1390s, started
coming to him and working with him.
So, he was forced to move outside the cloister.
So, already in the late 1390s, we have Lorenzo Monaco now.
Lewis, remember, he's still Kamaldeleze, even though he meets the cloister.
Lewis, last time, was kidding me.
He says, what are we going to hear?
Five days of people who really aren't Kamaldeleze after all?
He had to leave the Hermitage, because it's still strict cloister.
So, the cloister itself, or the monastery itself, bought him a house across the street, where
he set up his workshop.
Because he already had a number of students and young artists working under him, and they
set up a mass production workshop.
Well, they all did at that time.
All the great artists had their mass production setups.
And this one was a very prolific workshop, as we'll see.
So, he had, basically, a house and a garden across the street from the Ancinty.
He lived outside the monastery then, probably from the late 1390s.
We don't have the exact date when he moved out, and that's probably because he did it
gradually, anyway.
So, it's not in the annals of the monastery.
Luciano Bellosi, however, dates it to this fellow, 1402.
But most people think that's probably a little bit too late.
He had the proper dispensation to do this.
We have evidence of that, but we don't have the exact date.
He remained a monk, and this is very odd for that time.
He remained a monk of Iangeli, but did not live in the cloister.
He remained a member, and when he died, he was buried in the chapter room, back in the
monastery.
The chapter room had a number of famous monks in it.
Well, Paolo and Fra Silvestre, the lay brother whom they elected abbot of the house, are
both buried together in the chapter room also.
The chapter room of Iangeli?
Well, Iangeli's.
Oh, oh.
Ferenc.
Ferenc.
Yeah.
And so, once he moved out of the monastery, now he did a lot of things in the monastery,
and during that time, they're signed or attributed to Lorenzo Monaco.
Once he left the cloister itself, his art starts coming out, attributed to Piero Giovanni
and Lorenzo Monaco.
So it's both.
He just went by both names out there.
And I'm sure there was some reason for certain pieces going under Piero Giovanni, but I can't
prove that.
But it makes sense to me.
Those artists, you know.
Tradition holds that he died fairly young.
He died at the age of 55, and that he ruined his stomach.
He died of stomach problems.
And the monks evidently had been telling him for years, stop spending hours bent over your
panels of gesso.
The monks themselves attributed his death to all those long hours over the drying gesso
that he inhaled and over which he was bent during those years, whether he died for that
reason or not, we're not sure.
We know that he died at the age of 55, but they forgot to put the year down.
And that's why we can't give a certainty either, either day.
However, we do know that he died on, this date is becoming famous, he died on the same
day as Guido died.
Guido died yesterday, May 17th.
I always remember that because it's my ordination day.
I'll probably die on it.
There is one reference to this date actually being the 24th, but most people say no, it's
the 17th, and just by sheer number they went out.
His art in general then.
The Belle Arti began to be cultivated at the Hermitage in Florence as early as the year
1322.
That's the first evidence we have of them starting to develop in the monastery itself
a center of the arts for Florence.
We know that various academies were begun and that later free instruction was given
to the youth of Florence during the 15th century at their college, which they had developed,
in conjunction with all of this Belle Arti that's going on in the monastery.
The future Pope Leo X, by the way, very important to come out of his history.
He's the one who, a friend of Giustiniani, who allowed the Coronese to begin.
He is the pope to whom Paolo Giustiniani wrote his famous Liberlus for church reform, which
we just got an Italian translation on.
Anyway, this Pope Leo X, as a young boy, studied at the college in Collegio in Florence, at
our place.
And during that time, letters and sciences flourished, not just the arts, the sciences
as well, in this great school, in this great monastery.
As far as the arts are concerned, specifically those that we have mentioned of, of having
little workshops of these particular arts, all in the same monastery, in the cloister
were painting, miniaturist paintings, the weaving of tapestries, so they had to have
a tapestry room, drawing, metalwork, an embroidery room, the transcription of manuscripts,
and a room for the illumination of manuscripts, all of this going on in the cloister.
Much artistic output is alluded to over the years, and we have certain financial records
which prove that there was a lot going on.
For instance, we have the bill of sale for huge amounts of cobalt here at Florence, which
is going out of, what, existence, practically, you were telling me that last summer.
We're running out of cobalt in the world.
Cobalt gives us this beautiful, dark, deep blue in the paintings.
Does everybody know what cobalt is?
I don't have to try and find it?
Okay.
They had huge amounts of cobalt, I mean, like it had to be, had to come by donkey train
or something, and we have the bill of sale from the Venetian merchants who got it from
abroad and then transported it to this monastery so they'd have enough blue paint for their
illuminations and whatnot.
And it's staggering, some, their paintings.
So it had to have been a lot of paint that they were bringing in, the pigments and whatnot.
The artistic schools of Siena and Giotto, who was earlier, had already flourished in
Italy, and it deeply influenced the work of Don Lorenzo.
Well, he's from Siena anyway, even if he left as a baby, there's probably some kinship
there to be disposed, to be influenced by the Gothic, by the Giotto Gothic, as it's
sometimes called.
But he was especially influenced by Taddeo, also known as Agnolo.
This is another name for him, but sometimes you'll just see it, Agnolo Gatti.
It's the same man.
Taddeo Agnolo Gatti is his prime influence.
And how the scholar Zerri refers to Lorenzo Monaco is the bridge between Giotto and Gatti.
Lorenzo being that, or a sort of grafting of the two together.
If you put Gatti and Giotto together, you get Lorenzo.
I suppose what that's really saying is, what you have in Lorenzo is Giotto with some
influence of Gatti.
Probably more in the other way, right?
Since Giotto was earlier, and so profoundly, along with Simone Martini, so profoundly
influenced, well, at least two centuries of painting in Italy, especially with the triptychs
and the panel, religious panel themes, let alone techniques and style.
Anyway, Lorenzo Monaco, in the beginning, carries on this traditional form that you
find in Giotto and Martini.
If you can think of museums where you've seen these standing triptychs, they even
have a gothic feel to them, of a sort.
His early work is a lot like that.
It's a lot like Giotto.
But again, wedded to the Florentine new style, which is coming across with Gatti,
and then others as he gets older.
In fact, Lorenzo Monaco is going to influence others in Florence himself to move away from
Giotto in a sort of bridge work into Florence from Siena.
So, although he is credited with the direct rediscovery of what they call the Giotto-esque
art, as rediscovering it, or rebirthing Giotto for the world in his art, he really was a
bridge person between Florence and Siena, if you think of it that way, in that general.
That's what he's doing.
He's just at that time in history when we're going to pass into something new, and he really
facilitates that happening in the art world.
They say that even vis-a-vis his colors he uses, so as a colorist, Lorenzo Monaco is
a major bridge person for this century, not just in techniques, just moving away from
the traditional form gradually, but even in the use of color and pigmentation.
He probably surprised and scandalized many people of his day just because he was using
such bright colors, and they weren't used to that.
His most famous student is someone I had never heard of, Francesco Fiorentino.
I have Frances from Florence.
Has anyone heard of him?
Have you ever seen him?
Anyway, he did a lot of fine work after the death of Lorenzo, and had at least a short-lived
reputation.
In general, the art of Lorenzo Monaco shows a very strong church or ecclesiastical
basis in which he portrays a religious ideal, but then with his richness of detail and his
coloration and the way he ornaments the paintings, it's very much his own workmanship.
It's his own style, and Lorenzo Monaco becomes, obviously to everyone, a Lorenzo Monaco.
He was a very, very accomplished miniaturist also.
We're going to talk about the various miniaturist schools.
These monks were painting little, teeny illuminations and miniature paintings around a letter in
choir books and various manuscripts.
We'll be talking about that tomorrow.
Lorenzo also had a whole flock of miniaturists working under him.
Only because he was accomplished himself at that.
In fact, before he moved out of the cloister, he was probably doing as much, if not more,
miniaturist paintings than he was doing panel work at that time.
His art also has a very serious devotional quality.
There's a strong piety in it, but it's a very simple piety.
It doesn't make you because it's so saccharine or whatever.
It's just a very refined, quiet, devotional approach, or a feeling you get from the art.
And so there's a certain elegance of religious sentimentality that you get with Lorenzo Monaco
that is a little more acceptable to people from various persuasions.
They can find in Lorenzo Monaco a type of religious sentimentality that almost anybody
can accept and be fine with.
That's not always the case, of course, in the history of art.
Again, a number of the scholars, also in his illumination, his work as a miniaturist,
point to his coloration, how he paints with such vibrant colors and hues
that just hadn't been used before.
That's where he stands out, also in his illuminations, as a colorist.
Eisenberg writes of him,
Light and color persist as vehicles of a very private and rapturous spirituality.
And that was the nascent.
Light and color persist as vehicles of a very private and rapturous spirituality.
And I think that's a good word to use without, you know, rapturous,
not in the sense of...
Who's the fellow who did the famous sculpture of Teresa?
It's a bee, definitely.
Bernini? Bernini, accurate.
Did you see it in that church?
With all the lights, and it's like a little theater you sit in
and somebody puts in the coin and the lights go on.
And Teresa's going...
And it's a wonderful piece of art, too,
but it's not that kind of rapture that Lorenzo has.
Lorenzo's rapture is a very refined and deep but quiet rapture, I think.
And I think that's why I think he holds such a marvelous attraction to people
when they see his art.
Much like Fra Angelico, the same things could be said about Fra Angelico,
although Fra Angelico doesn't seem to be quite as immediate a colorist.
He tends to use what we would call today sort of light pastels,
much quieter that way in color.
Milanese is another Italian critic I used in my notes,
said that Lorenzo's figures had a little more austerity about them than Angelico.
There's something more austere about...
Now, when I think of Angelico, I think of austerity,
and that's one word I would use.
So here we have an art critic saying that Lorenzo's even more austere in his art.
Eisenberg agrees.
He calls the austerity of Lorenzo an elegant austerity, quote unquote.
His design in general, that is Lorenzo's design,
would be more direct and resolute than Angelico, than Fra Angelico.
And he used much more variety in his paintings, which sets him off.
If you look closely at a painting, if you look immediately,
and this has happened to me, and I say,
oh, I bet that's a Lorenzo, and then I look and it's a Fra Angelico.
If I would take time before saying, ooh, that's got to be a Lorenzo,
and look more at the ornamentation, the little secondary stuff going on in there,
that's how one can tell easily a Lorenzo apart from a Fra Angelico.
They're very similar in many ways.
And it's the small detail work in the marginal areas of his paintings
that has grasped a lot of critics over the centuries.
If you've read Lino's work, I think Lino Vigilucci mentions,
when he does his little paragraph or two on Lorenzo,
he's talking about the shadows in the towers and the little expressions
on the teeny little figures looking out windows and stuff in Lorenzo's paintings.
This is what he's talking about, that kind of detail
that won't be as prominent in something like Angelico,
whereas the general feeling of the painting may very well be similar.
It's just little details where they differ.
Again, this is from Eisenberg.
The art of Lorenzo Monaco could best flourish in these marginal zones,
for within the scope of predella and pinnacle,
so what he's talking about is when you have these triptychs,
down in the bottom panel, the horizontal,
they usually have a whole little story going on,
little figures and a life story of a saint,
and then you have the Virgin sitting on a throne and two saints on the side,
and then above you have a whole other little story with angels
and God the Father and whatnot going on above.
So the pinnacle is up here, the predella is that horizontal storyline
underneath.
Where am I now?
For within the scope of predella and pinnacle,
he could exploit a style that was most expressive on an intimate scale.
And if you look at these little things, they're wonderful,
wonderful things going on in these teeny, teeny little figurines here,
doing amazing things.
By expanding his supple line and iridescent palette,
so his colors again,
to the grandiose size of the coronation of the Virgin,
he met the demands of the commission,
when he was commissioned to do these panels,
but he defied the inclinations of his spirit and vision.
So he had fun.
With these things that people would say,
I commission you to, and will pay such and such to the monastery,
if you paint the coronation of the Virgin Mary
with St. Lawrence on one side
and the archangel Gabriel on the other,
and if you could paint my mother's face.
That type of thing.
Well, he would have fun above and below.
He'd do what they'd want and then he'd have great fun
with the other parts of the paintings.
So let's talk a little bit more in particular about his art,
just how he developed that and what he was commissioned to do.
His first major work, once he had become a monk, was a panel.
When we're talking about panels,
we're talking about slabs of wood covered with gesso
and then painted over that.
So those of you who remember Nicholas,
his type of thing, not the black background,
but I mean he would take a slab of wood and gesso it
and then paint on top of that.
That's what we're talking about with panels.
He was commissioned for the chapel
dell'Ardinghe of Carmine.
Do you know where that is?
Is that in Florence?
It's probably near Florence,
especially at the beginning of his career.
We know that this was commissioned and painted in 1399.
We don't know what it was and it's missing.
Now the majority of Lorenzo's work is gone.
It's in private collections or it was destroyed or lost.
But there's quite a bit around,
and we'll get into that too later on.
But I mean there's just less output by his workshop.
In 1404, I'm just going to talk about major works,
because all during this he's doing illuminations
and miniatures and paintings in the monastery
and teaching inside and more outside
once he moves out in the late 1390s.
In 404, he did panels for the Church of Santa Maria Nuova.
And this is famous to our history,
very famous to Carmine's history in Florence.
And in fact, we had one of the...
We have two hours in Florence.
I've been there too. It's great.
If you've noticed, one of those new books
on the miniatures that we have from Florence,
so the choral book miniatures,
that we just got from the library,
one of them is for Gian Giudice
and Santa Maria Nuova, their little books.
But this church was closely aligned with us
throughout our history.
In the years 1406 and 1410,
he did a number of panels
for the Olivet Benedictines of San Bartolomeo.
So San Bartolomeo's Olivet group.
He did a famous triptych of the Madonna with angels.
There's certain themes, certain paintings
that are going to become kind of his mark
in the art of his day.
And his workshops are just going to put him out
like by the hundreds.
And Madonna with angels is one of them.
The Madonna of Humility,
and we'll talk about that a little bit later,
is another one.
And the cutout crosses that we normally think of,
as soon as you see a cutout cross,
you think, Franciscan,
because the famous ones are Franciscan,
the painted cutout crosses and whatnot.
His workshop, Lorenzo's workshop,
did a number of those that were very, very famous.
So it was another one of his signatures
and artistic output of that day.
This triptych that he did for the Olivetans,
that is Madonna with angels,
the Annunciation, various saints all around it,
it's a triptych form,
is now at the Uffizi.
It's one of his paintings at the Uffizi.
And during the same time,
he was doing a number of panels
for other churches and other monasteries
and other groups.
Notably, a church in English,
St. James over the Arno,
above the river,
St. James above the river Arno.
He did a number of panels for that.
He painted a number of panels
for the Carthusian,
just outside Florence,
a famous Carthusian charter house,
he painted for them,
and for the Eremo di Camaldoli,
not the famous Sacro Eremo,
but the one in Florence.
At this time, there's a number of houses,
Camaldoli's houses in Florence,
four, five, six.
Most of them small.
Small houses.
But that's for throughout our history,
except for a very few big houses.
For centuries, one of our signatures is small.
Small communities everywhere
from Romulus' time onward.
Also, a famous crucifix,
one of these famous cut-out crucifixes
that he did for the Eremo di Camaldoli,
the Camaldoli's hermitage,
it was called, of Florence.
It's missing. They don't know where it is.
Who has it?
They think, you know, with a lot of this
in the art world, a lot of these famous things
that are missing are just in private collections
and are not spoken of,
just treasured by someone who looks at them
once in a while
and knows that they have them.
No one else does.
Also, St. Michael of Pisa.
This is a Camaldoli's house in Pisa.
Pisa, we had a number of houses in Pisa also.
That's a big Camaldoli city in our history,
until the suppressions.
In fact, just as a side note,
at one point in our history,
we had so many houses
that a general chapter decided
to set up nine different, like, provinces.
And a bunch of houses would be,
would choose one house
as its center for studies and formation.
They'd send all their young monks there.
In Pisa, they had two of those.
So that says something right there.
They had two major houses in Pisa
that functioned as formation houses
and houses of study at one time, at one point.
Nothing to do with Lorenzo.
In the years 1412 and 1413,
we know that he did a number of miniatures
for the antiphonals of these Olivetans again.
They're always hiring him.
These people from San Bartolomeo,
they loved his work.
And they commissioned him again
to do these miniatures
and a large panel for his old monastery
that was commissioned at the same time.
So he's working on antiphonals part of the time
and then going across and doing a huge panel.
This panel is the famous
Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
It's one of his most famous pieces,
if not the most famous.
And, you know, in here,
we only have little segments
or little details from it,
which is too bad.
I was precisely looking for...
I was hoping we'd find Eisenberg before class
because then I could show
the coronation itself in a large view.
This work is considered by art critics
to be one of his best,
if not the best.
It is a Gothic triptych, again,
formed with ornamentation and gold work
and saints all over the place.
And a Benedictine Romuald in it.
And there's a whole
Benedictine thing going on, too,
which often happens,
especially if you look down
at the predellas of these paintings.
You're going to see all kinds
of little monastic stories going on,
placid, going into water.
And, you know,
it doesn't matter what the major theme is.
He'll do his monastic thing, too,
if he wants to have fun with that.
The piece also has three tabernacles on it.
So up in the top of the triptychs,
there are tabernacles.
Look at all the work
that went into these things.
He has, in those tabernacles,
he has the Holy Trinity
and the Annunciation going on.
And then below it,
he has the Magi,
so he has the Epiphany Mystery going on,
and various scenes
from the life of Benedict
all through the predella.
And so you practically get
the community of saints
and the history of theology
going on in this one painting.
The history of this particular piece
is interesting.
Remember, it was painted
for D'Angeli itself,
his own monastery.
And it was removed from D'Angeli
toward the end of the 1500s,
so toward the end of the 16th century,
in order to make room
for another painting
by a person named Aloi.
Who's Aloi?
I've never heard of Aloi.
I was appalled when I read
that they would do that
to their own...
Of course, all kinds of things
can go into that sort of thing.
But they sent it
to one of their little dependencies,
a nabbi called San Pietro Acereto
near Cerdaldo.
And it's just this little small house
that was joined to this house
in Florence in the year 1414.
And we have hundreds of,
over our history,
of little houses
going in and out of existence
and joining up with Camaldoli
and fading out and whatnot
or being suppressed.
And they sent it
to one of these little houses.
And it was forgotten there
and put in storage.
They didn't even show it.
And it was considered lost
for centuries.
And they finally found it
in 1830.
By one...
It was an amazing find.
It was found
by one of the famous...
I mentioned him already once,
Milanese,
the famous Lorenzo Monaco critics
or students of Lorenzo Monaco.
In 1830, he found it.
And from then on,
it's been at the Uffizi Gallery
and has not left, I'm sure.
And it's still there
in conservation.
He also did, at this time,
another famous panel
for the Church of San Egidio.
And this is ours.
This is Camaldoli's.
That's another dependency
of Liangeli.
He did a major...
Excuse me.
He did a major panel,
which became very famous there.
And that also is
at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Isn't this the epiphany?
I think.
I think it's this one.
I think this was originally
at this little dependency
of San Egidio.
And it became...
To me, this is the most famous,
the epiphany, the major.
At the Uffizi.
Because, I guess,
because I've seen it
And it's an amazing...
I would love to see
a quality print made of this
so we could have a print
at our house epiphany
in New Hampshire.
Yeah.
Yeah, that's why
I had this one opened.
But I don't think it says
originally from San Egidio.
It doesn't give the original
place where it was done.
He did, like, a sidewalk.
Ooh.
There it is.
Something like that, maybe.
You remember it, don't you?
Or was it being restored
at the time you were there?
That's always the case
with these...
So many things are missed here.
When we went there,
Robert and I, in 93,
the coronation was missing.
It was being worked on
or something.
But we got to see the other ones.
We got to see this one.
Remember when we went down
and tried to find a slide for this
and they didn't have it?
You were still recovering
from the bombing.
Yes.
Yeah, there were still places
tarped off.
Those columns.
Enough said on that.
They're still around here.
In the years 1420, 21, 22,
he did a number of frescoes.
He decided to get into fresco work.
So he did frescoes.
And also
he does other panels
and miniaturist paintings
all along the way
during this time also.
But he did a panel
and frescoes
for this one chapel
in the church of Santa Trinica
in Firenze.
Have you been there?
Yeah.
And when I went there,
I didn't know.
I didn't see that chapel
because I didn't know
it was there
next time.
But these have recently
been restored, by the way.
This whole chapel
has been recently restored.
When I say recently,
within the last decade or so.
They've worked on the frescoes.
Unless I'm mixing them up
with something else.
I'm pretty sure
I'm right on that.
He also did
the fresco paintings
or portraits
of Dante Alighieri
and Petrarcha.
So Petrarcha and Dante
which are in that chapel.
And that's why it's famous
because of those two portraits
more than anything else.
But he also did
the other fresco work there
and the panel painting
if you happen to go there
at some point.
Art critics like to look
at this chapel
as a major turning point for him
with greater expression
in his technique
and his movement
and a variety of figures
that he's using
in this work
from previous work.
A lot of his miniatures
which we still know of
can be found in a library
in the Lorentzian library
in fact.
Lorenzo.
Lorentzian library
in Florence.
Have you been there?
These new books
to a great extent
the photos we have of works
are from that Lorentzian library.
Where can you find holdings
his holdings
in the United States?
And this would be good to know
if you're, you know
over the years
if you're in a city
like if you're stuck in
Brooklyn
you can go to the Brooklyn Museum
and see a Lorenzo Monaco.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
in New York
has Lorenzo Monaco.
The San Diego Art Museum
has a major Madonna
a sorrowful Madonna.
This again
this one that we carry
in the bookstore
that's a Madonna of Humility
probably
Madonna of Humility
there's one of these
at San Diego.
And when I was down there
for the last
two times ago
for the formation
director's workshop
I went specifically
on our free day
or free afternoon
to the museum
and they had it roped off.
They said
the upper gallery
is
closed off
just for one day.
We beg your pardon.
We're doing some vacuuming
or something.
And I said
why did you make me pay
the whole fee?
This is one of our painters
can I just tiptoe up there
and you can go with me
I won't touch anything.
And
it was like I was talking
to a stone wall
you know.
Anyway
no compassion whatsoever.
So I still haven't seen it.
The next person
who goes to San Diego
should probably see
see it on behalf
of the community
and get a slide of it
if you can
if they have one
but you know
for Robert and me.
Because at some point
we might be able to
have cards made
with permissions
of some of these
art pieces.
The National Gallery
in Washington
has Lorenzo.
The Nelson Atkins Museum
in Kansas City
does.
They have two there
and I've seen that.
I've seen those pieces.
That's where I got mixed up
with you Robert
when I had you
running a goose chase
in Boston.
I was mixing
the two museums up.
Robert told me
you saw him in the studio.
I was very impressed.
You had to get
the director of the museum
out and whatnot.
He was
And they kept insisting
they had Lorenzo Monaco
and they had to look it up
on the computers
and everything
and you kept saying
one of our monks
has seen these pieces.
The Toledo Museum of Art
has Lorenzo.
The Brooklyn as I said
Yale University
has a number of things
especially miniatures.
So if you're ever
at Yale
or Princeton
either one of those
Ivy League places
their libraries
have a number of
and their galleries
have a number
of miniatures
done by either
Lorenzo
There's three ways
Lorenzo's art
comes to us.
Lorenzo Monaco
Lorenzo
and a workshop
and then just
the workshop
of the Lorenzo
and they look like
Lorenzo Monaco
but it's just his
his students
and underlings
and that's just
usually
excuse me
signed
the workshop
of Lorenzo Monaco.
The Norton Simon Museum
in Pasadena
I've seen that
there's a lovely
Madonna of Humility
there.
By the way
if you ever
have the chance
to be in Pasadena
it's a wonderful museum
to go to
just for walking through
it's like
underground
I mean half of it
is underground
and it's meant
to be almost cavernous
and then the other side
is very very lights
and it's just
like a night and day thing
it's a wonderful place
to go to.
Cleveland
Detroit
and Harvard
also
although the stuff
at Harvard
seems to be permanently
on loan
so I don't know
if you've ever
seen anything
at Harvard.
There are also
things in private
collections
that we know of
in New York City
and Scarsdale, New York
probably much else
that we don't know of.
There are two museums
that have questionable
probably not
Lorenzo Monaco
pieces.
One of them
is at the Baltimore
at the Walters Art Gallery
and the other one
is at Princeton
University
and they
think that those
are not
really
not Lorenzo
at all.
Favorite subjects
for his paintings
basically were
the Madonna
of Humility
motif
so you have
the sad Virgin Mary
I mean
she looks sad
that's what
I would say
not depressed
just sort of
sad
and
that can be
humble
I mean
there's nothing
wrong.
The Annunciation
is another
famous
subject
for Lorenzo Monaco
pieces.
Coronation
for his workshop
the Coronation
of the Blessed
Virgin Mary
they must have done
I don't know
how many of those
they really
liked that
and so
that and the
cutout crosses
were you know
lots of them
were done
by the workshop.
Epiphany
also
a number of
famous paintings
of the Epiphany
event
were done
by Lorenzo
and by his
workshop.
The Communion
of Saints
and anything
to do with
Benedictinism
anything to do
with Benedict
Romuald
or their
stories
will show
up
either
specifically
as the main
theme of
Epiphany
or they're
going to be
somewhere along
the way
in the
motif
parts.
I want to
read one last
quote
from
again
of Lorenzo
Monaco
on the
threshold of
an era in
which painters
and sculptors
would probe
ever more
deeply into
the physical
and psychological
existence of
the individual.
The
Pence of
Antony
the founder
of monasticism
may stand
as a spiritual
self-portrait
of the artist
at the end
of his life.
Saint
Antony
was
either
the last
or near
the last
painting
by
Lorenzo.
So
this should
give you
at least
a basic
little
taste
of his
famous
painting
and his
work.
When
you would
say that
pieces came
out of his
workshop
they were
probably done
by other
people,
students?
When it's just
said workshop
it is his
students and
the artist
underneath them.
And how
would that
be signed?
The workshop
of Lorenzo
Nonico.
And sometimes
he's working
with them.
Whenever he
himself
takes brush
to
canvas
or panel
he'll have
his name on
there with
the workshop.
So it'll be
Lorenzo
and
workshop
rather than
the workshop
of Lorenzo.
And sometimes
it's just
his own
work.
What is
Minato
to me
today?
What's it
about?
It's three
things.
There's a
department
of the
university
that is
situated
there.
There's
the hospital
for
World War
veterans
with
disabilities.
They have
part of
it.
And there's
other,
some kind
of civic,
oh it's
the police
department.
Some
department
of the
police
has a
section
of it
too.
And so
I haven't
been there
yet.
But I
mean you
can go
there and
see busts
of
Brogio
Traversari
in the
courtyard.
And a
fresco
is along
the walkway
and it's
the police
department.
After
the
suppression
obviously
this is
one we
never got
back.
Outside
of
Comando
they are
two
most famous
monasteries
we tried
to get
back and
we couldn't.
And the
one on
the island
of
Murano
was given
to the
Franciscans.
But we
didn't get
it and
we had
the Pope
at the
time
pressuring
Venice
and two
cardinals
pressuring
Venice
to give
it back to
us because
they wanted
it to go
back to
a religious
group.
And the
Comandos
were saying
we've been
there 600
years, why
can't we
have it
back?
Precisely
because of
the bad
feelings,
because of
the times
of the
suppressions
and the
Comandos
hiding
certain
things and
getting certain
works out.
And whatever
else went
into that,
they wanted
the famous
San Michele
di Murano
and its
notoriety
and its
great reputation
to be
slammed out.
And their
way of doing
that was to
give it to
the Franciscans
and to
develop it
into the
city of
Venice's,
well not
the Franciscans,
to give it
to another
religious group
and have it
as the
graveyard
for Venice.
It still
is.
It's the
graveyard.
And the
Franciscans
take care of
what's left
of the
buildings.
When
Nicholas was
here, he
was an
artist.
He had
these art
magazines.
One had
these columns
about artworks
being auctioned
and there
was a
column about
it was
a wonderful
thing.
So we
were gathering
our money.
So there's
still floating
around.
Yeah, they
come up once
in a while
for all
famous artists.
The ones
that make
the
make waves
are like
the Van Goghs
that show
up.
Self-portrait.
148 million.
Certainly
works that are
much more
simple like that
and austere
and others that
are
elaborate,
very elaborate.
For me,
there were
probably
simple ones
like
Great
Pennsylvania.
Okay, so
tomorrow
we'll
talk about
our various
schools of
Camoglioni's
miniature paintings.
Thank you.