'At the turn of the fifteenth century Flor- ence offered a particularly receptive atmos- phere for the International style. During the second half of the fourteenth century the city had been torn by economic and social crises: spectacular bankruptcies, drastic swings in leadership-first to the right and then to the left - and devastating epidemics of the plague. With renewed prosperity toward I400 came the return to power of the upper middle class, and the luxurious, courtly art of the North was ideally suited to the aristocratic aspira- tions of this new ruling bourgeoisie. At the same time the plague, which had wiped out entire families and left nearly all others in mourning, made a profound impres- sion on the people. Fear of God and a deep sense of guilt resulted, inspiring men to con- trition and moving them to greater piety. The religious orders became stricter, and the so-called Observant movement sprang up- to which the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli belonged - advocating closer adherence to doctrine and to the institutional authority of the Church. The works of Lorenzo Monaco, with their happy fusion of the monastic and the courtly, are in perfect accord with the ideological and social climate of the Florence of his day. In the case of our panels, the brilliant and re- fined color scheme, the nobility of the figures, in which something of the courtly art of the dukes of Burgundy can be felt, must have satisfied Florentine nostalgia for the splendors of a past chivalric age, just as the Florentines' deeply religious spirit is reflected in the mys- tical intensity of the prophets' severe, brood- ing faces.'
de Montebello, Guy-Philippe. "Four Prophets by Lorenzo Monaco." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 25, no. 4 (December, 1966), p.8.
JSTOR | The Metropolitan Museum of Art is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve, and extend access to The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin | PDF
Bent, George R., Monastic Art in Lorenzo Monaco’s Florence: Painting and Patronage in Santa Maria degli Angeli, 1300-1415, Lewiston, New York, 2006.
Santa Maria degli Angeli is well-known to Medieval and Renaissance art historians as an important center of illuminated manuscript production and the monastic home of the accomplished painter Lorenzo Monaco. Locked inside the walls of a severely cloistered monastery, monks from the Camaldolese house of Santa Maria degli Angeli had access to some of the most innovative paintings produced in Florence between 1350 and 1425. Leading painters of the day, like Nardo di Cione and Lorenzo Monaco, filled manuscripts and decorated altars with richly ornamented pictures that related directly to liturgical passages recited – and theological positions embraced – by members of the institution. In a city marked by wealthy and sophisticated ecclesiastical communities, the one at Santa Maria degli Angeli had few peers.
Dependent on the benefices of a powerful network of patronage, the monks in Santa Mara degli Angeli counted among their staunchest allies families associated with the most important political alliances in Florence, and by 1378 the monastery was considered by many to be closely linked to the city’s most potent families. Monks executed a variety of tasks and obligations which took place throughout the year. Among these was a lengthy and solemn procession, held on specific feast days, that took the community to every altar and altarpiece in the monastic complex. The route they took and the images they saw caused each participant to see his collection of images in sequence, and thus encouraged him to consider the altarpieces in his environment both individually and collectively. The culmination of this procession came to be the extraordinary high altarpiece produced by Lorenzo Monaco in 1413, the Coronation of the Virgin, which summarized both the entire program of monastic imagery in Santa Maria degli Angeli and the importance of individual patronage in Europe’s most progressive and potent city-state. This work examines and explains the appearance, function, and uses of painting in one of the day’s most important cultural centers.
 de Montebello, Guy-Philippe. "Four Prophets by Lorenzo Monaco." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 25, no. 4 (December, 1966), p. 156.
Lorenzo Monaco: a Bridge from Giotto's Heritage to the Renaissance, ed. by Angelo Tartuferi and Daniela Parenti (Florence: Giunti, 2006), pp. 266-68, 271 [exhibition catalogue].