Michelangelo di Pietro Membrini's name was only matched to the work of the Master of the Lathrop Tondo in 1985. His distinctive artistic style, or hand, was first identified in the Getty Museum's tondo early in this century. By the 1960s connoisseurs had identified a body of work of nearly thirty paintings. In 1985 documentation was uncovered for one of these pictures, becoming the first proof of the artist's name.
Michelangelo di Pietro's works are characterized by an enameled, metallic finish and an essentially decorative, linear style. Active in Lucca, which is northwest of Florence, he was influenced both directly and indirectly by Florentine painters, including Early Renaissancefresco painter Domenico Ghirlandaio and Ghirlandaio's contemporary Filippino Lippi, known for his fluttering line and bright color. Michelangelo di Pietro rarely idealized the donors in his paintings, which demonstrates his awareness of Flemish portraiture.