Contrary to iconographic convention, Saint Lawrence here appears in supplication, amid bands of fire, rather than stretched out on the grill. This representation reflects the writings of both saints Augustine and Ambrose, which relate that Lawrence conquered the fire without—shown here licking at his feet—with the three fires within: those inflamed by the ardor of faith, the love of Christ, and the true knowledge of God, which are represented here by the bands of fire at waist and shoulder level and by the column of fire above his head.
The attribution of the panel to Canterbury is based largely on style; its precise location in the cathedral choir has not been determined. The bearded head is not that of Saint Lawrence but came from elsewhere in the same glazing program and was later inserted, probably in the nineteenth century; most of the inscription and much of the architectural framings are recent restorations to complete the panel.
From the Christ Church Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent; Dr. J. Francis Grayling, Sittingbourne, Kent (until 1923) ; Bertram Christian, London (1923–1952) ; Gerard Kirsopp Lake, New Canaan, CT (1952–1972) ; Lydia Kirsopp Lake, Lexington, MA (1972–1984)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Fifteenth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1984, through June 30, 1985." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 115 (1985). p. 44.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recent Acquisitions, 1987-1988 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1988). p. 15.
Pushkin Museum and State Hermitage Museum. Dekorativno-Prikladnoe Iskusstvo ot Pozdnei Antichnosti do Pozdnei Gotiki: Kratkii Katalog Vystavki. Moscow: Pushkin Museum, 1990. no. 15, p. 10.
State Hermitage Museum. Dekorativno-Prikladnoe Iskusstvo ot Pozdnei Antichnosti do Pozdnei Gotiki. St. Petersburg: State Hermitage Museum, 1990. no. 15, pp. 38-39.
Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 91, pp. 76–77.
Hayward, Jane. English and French Medieval Stained Glass in The Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Volume 1, edited by Mary B. Shepard, and Cynthia Clark. Corpus Vitrearum USA, Vol. 1. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2003. no. 5, pp. 67-70, fig. 5.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 23, pp. 54, 194.
Barnet, Peter, and Nancy Y. Wu. The Cloisters: Medieval Art and Architecture. 75th Anniversary ed. New York and New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 52-53.