This was Agostino Novello O.S.A. (c. 1245 - 1309).
Because of his connections with Sicily, he is sometimes also called Augustine of Tarano.
(For the pages of biography in Augnet upon Augustine of Tarano O.S.A., click here.)
He had a brilliant career both as a layman and as a member of the Order of Saint Augustine.
He studied law at the University of Bologna and became the personal councillor in Sicily to King Manfred, the son of Ludwig II.
As a member of the Order of Saint Augustine he became Prior General in 1298. He did so out of obedience, and resigned in 1300 to retire to a life of prayer at San Leonardo da Lago.
He lived there for the last ten years of his life, from 1300 to 1309. There he ministered to the people of the surrounding villages.
In Siena he played an important role in the founding the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, and composed a set of guidelines for the hospital community.
This activity and his renowned holiness prompted great generosity towards the hermitage of San Leonardo da Lago for many years after his death.
There was sufficient generosity towards the eremo at San Leonardo da Lago at that time to have a new church built there.
The work of this eremo was further aided by the strength of the observant movement in the Order of Saint Augustine and in other mendicant orders in the second half of the fourteenth century.
It was thus possible to commission frescoes there in 1370 by Lippo Vanni (c. 1340 – c.1375), who was the leading artist in Siena at the time. (See next page).
Part of this fresco showed Augustine as a bishop. Another part showed him at his moment of great restlessness and conversion in the garden of Milan, with his mother Monica praying fervently not far away.
Lippo Vanni worked in and around Siena as an illuminator of manuscripts as well as a fresco and panel painter.
He was considered to be one of the leading painters of his day.
For example, in 1356, a record of the painters working in Siena in 1356, the name of Lippo Vanni is the first on the list.
Vanni illuminated choir books for the parish church in San Gimignano. He also painted frescoes in the Palazzo Pubblico ("city hall") and in the Franciscan church in Siena.
In these same years the church at San Leonardo da Lago was also embellished with the paintings of the Virgin Mary, Saint Augustine, and of Saints Leonardo and Augustine together.