The Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence
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Pacino di Bonaguida
Italian, Florence, about 1340
Tempera and gold leaf on parchment
7 1/2 x 8 3/16 in.

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At the center of this miniature, Saint Lawrence, a Roman deacon who lived during the third century A.D., endures torture on a flaming grill during his martyrdom as several Roman soldiers and two judges look on. At the upper right, two angels lift Saint Lawrence's soul up to heaven where God receives him with open arms. This scene was painted by Pacino di Bonaguida, one of the leading Florentine artists of the early 1300s. This miniature demonstrates Pacino's characteristic palette of rich blue, bright orange, and acid yellow, as well as his compositional creativity.

This miniature comes from a laudario, a type of manuscript filled with lauds, or songs of praise, written in Italian and used by pious lay communities. This laudario was commissioned by a group of worshippers called the Compagnia di Sant'Agnese that sang the hymns in this manuscript at the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence.