Initials from Choir Books
Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci (1339-1399)
Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci, who entered the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in 1348 and became its Prior in the 1390s, led the scriptorium until his death.
He trained the next generation of artists, including Lorenzo Monaco who succeeded him as the head of the scriptorium. The initials depicting the Presentation in the Temple and St Clement are among Don Silvestro’s earliest works, executed between 1370 and 1375. They were excised from Santa Maria degli Angeli’s Corale 2 whose text is dated 1370-1371. The impressive sum of 100 florins paid upon the completion of Corale 2 in 1375 reflects the high esteem for Don Silvestro’s craftsmanship and the precious materials used in his illuminations.