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Fra Angelico

Fra Angelico
Born
Guido di Pietro

c. 1395
Died18 February 1455 (age about 59)
NationalityItalian
Known forPainting, Fresco
Notable workAnnunciation of Cortona
Fiesole Altarpiece
San Marco Altarpiece
Deposition of Christ
Niccoline Chapel
MovementEarly Renaissance
Patron(s)Cosimo de' Medici
Pope Eugene IV
Pope Nicholas V
Signature

John of Fiesole

Venerated inCatholic Church
(Dominican Order)
Beatified3 October 1982, Vatican City, by Pope John Paul II
Feast18 February

Fra Angelico, OP (born Guido di Pietro; c. 1395[1] – 18 February 1455) was a Dominican friar and Italian Renaissance painter of the Early Renaissance, described by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Artists as having "a rare and perfect talent".[2] He earned his reputation primarily for the series of frescoes he made for his own friary, San Marco, in Florence,[3] then worked in Rome and other cities. All his known work is of religious subjects.

He was known to contemporaries as Fra Giovanni da Fiesole (Friar John of Fiesole) and Fra Giovanni Angelico (Angelic Brother John). In modern Italian he is called Beato Angelico (Blessed Angelic One);[4] the common English name Fra Angelico means the "Angelic friar".

In 1982, Pope John Paul II beatified him[5] in recognition of the holiness of his life, thereby making the title of "Blessed" official. Fiesole is sometimes misinterpreted as being part of his formal name, but it was merely the town where he had taken his vows as a Dominican friar,[6] and would have been used by contemporaries to distinguish him from others with the same forename, Giovanni. He is commemorated by the current Roman Martyrology on 18 February,[7] the date of his death in 1455. There the Latin text reads Beatus Ioannes Faesulanus, cognomento Angelicus—"Blessed John of Fiesole, surnamed 'the Angelic'".

Vasari wrote of Fra Angelico that "it is impossible to bestow too much praise on this holy father, who was so humble and modest in all that he did and said and whose pictures were painted with such facility and piety."[2]

Biography

Early life, 1395–1436

Fra Angelico was born Guido di Pietro in the hamlet of Rupecanina[8] in the Tuscan area of Mugello near Fiesole, not far from Florence, towards the end of the 14th century. Nothing is known of his parents. He was baptised Guido. As a child, he was probably known, as was the Italian fashion, as Guidolino ("Little Guido"). The earliest recorded document concerning Fra Angelico dates from 17 October 1417, when he joined a religious confraternity or guild at the Carmine Church, still under the name Guido di Pietro. This record indicates that he was already a painter, as is evident from two records of payment to Guido di Pietro in January and February 1418, for work done in the church of Santo Stefano del Ponte.[9] The first record of Angelico as a friar dates from 1423, the first reference to Fra Giovanni (Friar John), following the custom of those entering one of the older religious orders of taking a new name.[10] He was a member of the convent of Fiesole. The Dominican Order is one of the medieval mendicant Orders. Mendicants generally lived not from the income of estates but from begging or donations. Fra, a contraction of frater (Latin for 'brother'), is a conventional title for a mendicant friar.

According to Vasari, Fra Angelico's initial training was as an illuminator, possibly working with his older brother Benedetto, also a Dominican and an illuminator. The former Dominican convent of San Marco in Florence, now a state museum, holds several manuscripts thought to be entirely or partly by his hand.[2] The painter Lorenzo Monaco may have contributed to his art training; the influence of the Sienese school is discernible in his work. He trained also with master Varricho in Milan[11] Despite quite a few moves of the convents where he lived, this did little to constrain his artistic output, which rapidly acquired a reputation. According to Vasari, his first paintings were an altarpiece and a painted screen for the Charterhouse (Carthusian monastery) of Florence. Nothing remains of these today.[2]

From 1408 to 1418, Fra Angelico was at the Dominican friary of Cortona, where he painted frescoes, mostly now destroyed, in the Dominican Church, and may have been assistant to Gherardo Starnina, or a follower of his.[12] Between 1418 and 1436 he was back in Fiesole, where he executed a number of frescoes for the church and the Fiesole Altarpiece. This was allowed to deteriorate, but has since been restored. A predella of the altarpiece remains intact and is conserved in the National Gallery, London; a great example of Fra Angelico's genius. It shows Christ in Glory surrounded by more than 250 figures, including beatified Dominicans. This period saw the painting of some of his masterpieces, including a version of The Madonna of Humility. This is well preserved and the property of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, on loan to the MNAC of Barcelona. Also completed at this time were an Annunciation and a Madonna of the Pomegranate, at the Prado Museum.

San Marco, Florence, 1436–1445

Annunciation, c. 1440–1445

In 1436, Fra Angelico was one of a number of the friars from Fiesole who moved to the newly built convent or friary of San Marco in Florence. This propitious move, placing him at the heart of artistic life of the region, attracted the backing of Cosimo de' Medici. He was one of the wealthiest and most powerful members of the city's governing authority (or "Signoria"), and founder of the dynasty that was set to dominate Florentine politics for much of the Renaissance. Cosimo had a cell reserved for himself at the friary so that he might retreat from the world. It was, writes Vasari, at Cosimo's urging that Fra Angelico set about the task of decorating the convent, including the magnificent fresco of the Chapter House, the much reproduced Annunciation at the top of the stairs leading to the cells, the Maesta (or Coronation of the Madonna) with Saints (cell 9), and many other devotional frescoes, smaller in format but of a remarkable luminous quality, depicting aspects of the Life of Christ that adorn the walls of each cell.[2]

In 1439 Fra Angelico completed one of his most famous works, the San Marco Altarpiece at Florence. It broke new ground. Not unusual had been images of the enthroned Madonna and Child surrounded by saints, the custom was that the setting looked heaven-like, saints and angels hovering as ethereal presences rather than earthly substance. But in the San Marco Altarpiece, the saints stand squarely within the space, grouped in a natural way as if conversing about their shared witness of the Virgin in glory. This fresh genre, Sacred Conversations, was to underlie major commissions of Giovanni Bellini, Perugino and Raphael.[13]

San Marco Altarpiece

The Vatican, 1445–1455

The Crucified Christ (detail)

In 1445 Pope Eugene IV summoned him to Rome to paint the frescoes of the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament at St Peter's, later demolished by Pope Paul III. Vasari suggests this might have been when Fra Angelico was offered the Archbishopric of Florence by Pope Nicholas V, to turn it down, recommending instead another friar. The story seems possible, and even likely. However, the detail does not tally. In 1445 the pope was Eugene IV. Nicholas was not to be elected until 6 March 1447. The archbishop in question during 1446–1459 was the Dominican Antoninus of Florence (Antonio Pierozzi), canonised by Pope Adrian VI in 1523. In 1447 Fra Angelico was in Orvieto with his pupil, Benozzo Gozzoli, executing works for the Cathedral. Among his other pupils were Zanobi Strozzi.[14]

From 1447 to 1449 Fra Angelico was back at the Vatican, designing the frescoes for the Niccoline Chapel for Nicholas V. The scenes from the lives of the two martyred deacons of the Early Christian Church, St. Stephen and St. Lawrence may have been executed wholly or in part by assistants. The small chapel, with its brightly frescoed walls and gold leaf decorations gives the impression of a jewel box. From 1449 until 1452, Fra Angelico was back at his old convent of Fiesole, where he was the Prior.[2][15]

Death and beatification

The Adoration of the Magi is a tondo of the scene when wise men from the east arrived. It is credited to Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi and dates to c. 1440/1460.

In 1455, Fra Angelico died while staying at a Dominican convent in Rome, perhaps on an order to work on Pope Nicholas' chapel. He was buried in the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.[2][15][16]

When singing my praise, don't liken my talents to those of Apelles.
Say, rather, that, in the name of Christ, I gave all I had to the poor.

The deeds that count on Earth are not the ones that count in Heaven.

I, Giovanni, am the flower of Tuscany.

— Translation of epitaph[2]

Apelles (see main article) was a highly renowned painter of Ancient Greece, whose output, now completely lost, is thought to have centred chronologically around 330 BCE.

On display near the main altar is a marble tombstone, an exceptional honour for an artist at that time. Two epitaphs were written, probably by Lorenzo Valla. The first reads: "In this place is enshrined the glory, the mirror, and the ornament of painters, John the Florentine. A religious and a true servant of God, he was a brother of the holy Order of Saint Dominic. His disciples mourn the death of such a great master, for who will find another brush like his? His homeland and his order mourn the death of a distinguished painter, who had no equal in his art." Inside a Renaissance style niche is the painter's relief in Dominican habit. A second epitaph reads: "Here lies the venerable painter Brother John of the Order of Preachers. May I be praised not because I looked like another Apelles, but because I have offered to you, O Christ, all my wealth. For some, their works survive on earth; for others in heaven. The city of Florence gave birth to me, John."

The English writer and critic William Michael Rossetti wrote of the friar:

From various accounts of Fra Angelico's life, it is possible to gain some sense of why he was deserving of canonization. He led the devout and ascetic life of a Dominican friar, and never rose above that rank; he followed the dictates of the order in caring for the poor; he was always good-humored. All of his many paintings were of divine subjects, and it seems that he never altered or retouched them, perhaps from a religious conviction that, because his paintings were divinely inspired, they should retain their original form. He was wont to say that he who illustrates the acts of Christ should be with Christ. It is averred that he never handled a brush without fervent prayer and he wept when he painted a Crucifixion. The Last Judgment and the Annunciation were two of the subjects he most frequently treated.[17][15]

Pope John Paul II beatified Fra Angelico on 3 October 1982, and in 1984 declared him patron of Catholic artists.[5]

Angelico was reported to say "He who does Christ's work must stay with Christ always". This motto earned him the epithet "Blessed Angelico", because of the perfect integrity of his life and the almost divine beauty of the images he painted, to a superlative extent those of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Evaluation

San Marco, Florence,The Day of Judgement, upper panel of an altarpiece. It shows the precision, detail and colour required in a commissioned work
A Thebaide, showing the activities in the lives of the saints, 1420

Background

Fra Angelico was working at a time when the style of painting was in a state of flux. This transformation had begun a century earlier with the works of Giotto and several of his contemporaries, notably Giusto de' Menabuoi. Both had created their major works in Padua, though Giotto had been trained in Florence by the great Gothic artist, Cimabue. He had painted a fresco cycle of St Francis in the Bardi Chapel in the Basilica di Santa Croce. Giotto had many enthusiastic followers, imitating his style in fresco. Some of them, notably the Lorenzetti, achieved great success.[13]

Patronage

If not a monastic establishment, the patron was most usually, as part of a church's endowment, a family with wealth. To maximally advertise this (wealth) favoured subjects where religious devotion would be most focused, an altarpiece for instance. The wealthier the benefactor, the more the style would seem a throwback, compared with a freer and more nuanced style then in vogue. Underpinning this was that a commissioned painting said something about its sponsor: the more gold leaf, the more prestige accrued. Other precious materials in the paint-box were lapis lazuli and vermilion. Paints from these colours lent themselve poorly to a tonal treatment. The azure blue made of powdered lapis lazuli had to be applied flat. As with gold leaf, it was left to the depth and brilliance of colour to announce the patron's importance. This, however, constrained the overall style to that of an earlier generation. Thus, the impression left by altarpieces was more conservative than that achieved by frescoes. These, in contrast, were frequently of almost life-sized figures. To gain effect, they could capitalise on an up-to-date stage-set quality rather than having to fall back upon a lavish, but dated, display.[18]

Contemporaries

Fra Angelico was the contemporary of Gentile da Fabriano. Gentile's altarpiece of the Adoration of the Magi, 1423, in the Uffizi is regarded as one of the greatest works of the style known as International Gothic. At the time it was painted, another young artist, known as Masaccio, was working on the frescoes for the Brancacci Chapel at the church of the Carmine. Masaccio had fully grasped the implications of the art of Giotto. Few painters in Florence saw his sturdy, lifelike and emotional figures and were not affected by them. His work partner was an older painter, Masolino, of the same generation as Fra Angelico. Masaccio died at 27, leaving the work unfinished.[13]

Altarpieces

The works of Fra Angelico reveal elements that are both conservatively Gothic and progressively Renaissance. In the altarpiece of the Coronation of the Virgin, painted for the Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella, are all the elements that a very expensive altarpiece of the 14th century was expected to provide; a precisely tooled gold ground, much azure, and much vermilion. The workmanship of the gilded haloes and gold-edged robes is exquisite and all very Gothic. What makes this a Renaissance painting, as against Gentile da Fabriano's masterpiece, is the solidity, three-dimensionality and naturalism of the figures and the realistic way in which their garments hang or drape around them. Even though it is clouds these figures stand upon, and not the earth, they do so with weight.[13]

The Transfiguration shows the directness, simplicity and restrained palette typical of these frescoes. Located in a monk's cell at the Convent San' Marco, its apparent purpose is to encourage private devotion.

Frescoes

The series of frescoes that Fra Angelico painted for the Dominican friars at San Marcos realise the advancements made by Masaccio and carry them further. Away from the constraints of wealthy clients and the limitations of panel painting, Fra Angelico was able to express his deep reverence for his God and his knowledge and love of humanity. The meditational frescoes in the cells of the convent have a quieting quality about them. They are humble works in simple colours. There is more mauvish pink than there is red, and the brilliant and expensive blue is almost totally lacking. In its place is dull green and the black and white of Dominican robes. There is nothing lavish, nothing to distract from the spiritual experiences of the humble people who are depicted within the frescoes. Each one has the effect of bringing an incident of the life of Christ into the presence of the viewer. They are like windows into a parallel world. These frescoes remain a powerful witness to the piety of the man who created them.[13] Vasari relates that Cosimo de' Medici seeing these works, inspired Fra Angelico to create a large Crucifixion scene with many saints for the Chapter House. As with the other frescoes, the wealthy patronage did not influence the Friar's artistic expression with displays of wealth.[2]

Masaccio ventured into perspective with his creation of a realistically painted niche at Santa Maria Novella. Subsequently, Fra Angelico demonstrated an understanding of linear perspective particularly in his Annunciation paintings set inside the sort of arcades that Michelozzo and Brunelleschi created at San' Marco's and the square in front of it.[13]

Lives of the Saints

Saint Lawrence distributing alms (1447), in the Vatican, incorporates the expensive pigments, gold leaf and elaborate design typical of Vatican commissions.

When Fra Angelico and his assistants went to the Vatican to decorate the chapel of Pope Nicholas, the artist was again confronted with the need to please the very wealthiest of clients. In consequence, walking into the small chapel is like stepping into a jewel box. The walls are decked with the brilliance of colour and gold that one sees in the most lavish creations of the Gothic painter Simone Martini at the Lower Church of St Francis of Assisi, a hundred years earlier. Yet Fra Angelico has succeeded in creating designs which continue to reveal his own preoccupation with humanity, with humility and with piety. The figures, in their lavish gilded robes, have the sweetness and gentleness for which his works are famous. According to Vasari:

In their bearing and expression, the saints painted by Fra Angelico come nearer to the truth than the figures done by any other artist.[2]

It is probable that much of the actual painting was done by his assistants to his design. Both Benozzo Gozzoli and Gentile da Fabriano were highly accomplished painters. Benozzo took his art further towards the fully developed Renaissance style with his expressive and lifelike portraits in his masterpiece depicting the Journey of the Magi, painted in the Medici's private chapel at their palazzo.[19]

Blessing Redeemer (1423)

Artistic legacy

Through Fra Angelico's pupil Benozzo Gozzoli's careful portraiture and technical expertise in the art of fresco we see a link to Domenico Ghirlandaio, who in turn painted extensive schemes for the wealthy patrons of Florence, and through Ghirlandaio to his pupil Michelangelo and the High Renaissance.

Apart from the lineal connection, superficially there may seem little to link the humble priest with his sweetly pretty Madonnas and timeless Crucifixions to the dynamic expressions of Michelangelo's larger-than-life creations. But both these artists received their most important commissions from the wealthiest and most powerful of all patrons, the Vatican.

When Michelangelo took up the Sistine Chapel commission, he was working within a space that had already been extensively decorated by other artists. Around the walls the Life of Christ and Life of Moses were depicted by a range of artists including his teacher Ghirlandaio, Raphael's teacher Perugino and Botticelli. They were works of large scale and exactly the sort of lavish treatment to be expected in a Vatican commission, vying with each other in the complexity of design, number of figures, elaboration of detail and skilful use of gold leaf. Above these works stood a row of painted Popes in brilliant brocades and gold tiaras. None of these splendours have any place in the work which Michelangelo created. Michelangelo, when asked by Pope Julius II to ornament the robes of the Apostles in the usual way, responded that they were very poor men.[13]

Within the cells of San'Marco, Fra Angelico had demonstrated that painterly skill and the artist's personal interpretation were sufficient to create memorable works of art, without the expensive trappings of blue and gold. In the use of the unadorned fresco technique, the clear bright pastel colours, the careful arrangement of a few significant figures and the skillful use of expression, motion and gesture, Michelangelo showed himself to be the artistic descendant of Fra Angelico. Frederick Hartt describes Fra Angelico as "prophetic of the mysticism" of painters such as Rembrandt, El Greco and Zurbarán.[13]

Works

Virgin and Child with Saints, detail, Fiesole (1428–1430)

Early works, 1408–1436

Unknown

Rome

Cortona

Fiesole

Florence, Basilica di San Marco

Florence, Santa Trinita

Florence, Santa Maria degli Angeli

Florence, Santa Maria Novella

  • Coronation of the Virgin, altarpiece, Uffizi.

San Marco, Florence, 1436–1445

  • Altarpiece for chancel – Virgin with Saints Cosmas and Damian, attended by Saints Dominic, Peter, Francis, Mark, John Evangelist and Stephen. Cosmas and Damian were patrons of the Medici. The altarpiece was commissioned in 1438 by Cosimo de' Medici. It was removed and disassembled during the renovation of the convent church in the seventeenth century. Two of the nine predella panels remain at the convent; seven are in Washington, Munich, Dublin and Paris. Unexpectedly, in 2006 the last two missing panels, Dominican saints from the side panels, turned up in the estate of a modest collector in Oxfordshire, who had bought them in California in the 1960s.[23]
The Deposition from the Cross, Museo San Marco
The Madonna enthroned with Saints Cosmas and Damian, Saint Mark and Saint John, Saint Lawrence and three Dominicans, Saint Dominic, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Peter Martyr; San Marco, Florence
  • Altarpiece ? – Madonna and Child with Twelve Angels (life sized); Uffizi.
  • Altarpiece – The Annunciation
  • San Marco Altarpiece
  • Two versions of the Crucifixion with St Dominic; in the Cloister
  • Very large Crucifixion with Virgin and 20 Saints; in the Chapter House
  • The Annunciation; at the top of the Dormitory stairs. This is probably the most reproduced of all Fra Angelico's paintings.
  • Virgin Enthroned with Four Saints; in the Dormitory passage
In The Annunciation, the interior reproduces that of the cell in which it is located.

Each cell is decorated with a fresco which matches in size and shape of the single round-headed window beside it. The frescoes are apparently for contemplative purposes. They have a pale, serene, unearthly beauty. Many of Fra Angelico's finest and most reproduced works are among them. There are, particularly in the inner row of cells, some of the less inspiring quality and of the more repetitive subject, perhaps completed by assistants.[13] Many pictures include Dominican saints as witnesses of the scene each in one of the nine traditional prayer postures depicted in De Modo Orandi. The friar using the cell could place himself in the scene.

Late works, 1445–1455

Orvieto Cathedral

Three segments of the ceiling in the Cappella Nuova, with the assistance of Benozzo Gozzoli.

  • Christ in Glory
  • The Virgin Mary
  • The Apostles

Niccoline Chapel

The Chapel of Pope Nicholas V, at the Vatican, was probably painted with much assistance from Benozzo Gozzoli and Gentile da Fabriano. The entire surface of the wall and ceiling is sumptuously painted. There is much gold leaf for borders and decoration, and a great use of brilliant blue made from lapis lazuli.

Discovery of lost works

Worldwide press coverage reported in November 2006 that two missing masterpieces by Fra Angelico had turned up, having hung in the spare room of the late Jean Preston, in her terrace house in Oxford, England. Her father had bought them for £100 each in the 1960s then bequeathed them to her when he died.[24] Preston, an expert medievalist, recognised them as being high-quality Florentine renaissance, but did not realize that they were works by Fra Angelico until they were identified in 2005 by Michael Liversidge of Bristol University.[25] There was almost no demand at all for medieval art during the 1960s and no dealers showed any interest, so Preston's father bought them almost as an afterthought along with some manuscripts. The paintings are two of eight side panels of a large altarpiece painted in 1439 for Fra Angelico's monastery at San Marco, which was later split up by Napoleon's army. While the centre section is still at the monastery, the other six small panels are in German and US museums. These two panels were presumed lost forever. The Italian Government had hoped to purchase them but they were outbid at auction on 20 April 2007 by a private collector for £1.7M.[24] Both panels are now restored and exhibited in the San Marco Museum in Florence.

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Metropolitan Museum of Art".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Giorgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists. Penguin Classics, 1965.
  3. ^ Norwich, John Julius (1990). Oxford Illustrated Encyclopedia Of The Arts. USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 16. ISBN 978-0-19-869137-2.
  4. ^ Andrea del Sarto, Raphael and Michelangelo were all called "Beato" by their contemporaries because their skills were seen as a special gift from God
  5. ^ a b Bunson, Matthew; Bunson, Margaret (1999). John Paul II's Book of Saints. Our Sunday Visitor. p. 156. ISBN 0-87973-934-7.
  6. ^ Rossetti 1911, p. 6.
  7. ^ Martyrologium Romanum, ex decreto sacrosancti oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Ioannis Pauli Pp. II promulgatum, editio [typica] altera, Typis Vaticanis, A.D. MMIV (2004), p. 155 ISBN 88-209-7210-7
  8. ^ "Comune di Vicchio (Firenze), La terra natale di Giotto e del Beato Angelico". zoomedia. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
  9. ^ Werner Cohn, Il Beato Angelico e Battista di Biagio Sanguigni. Revista d'Arte, V, (1955): 207–221.
  10. ^ Stefano Orlandi, Beato Angelico; Monographia Storica della Vita e delle Opere con Un'Appendice di Nuovi Documenti Inediti. Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 1964.
  11. ^ Rossetti 1911, pp. 6–7.
  12. ^ "Gherardo Starnina". Artists. Getty Center. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-09-28.Getty Education[]
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i Frederick Hartt, A History of Italian Renaissance Art, (1970) Thames & Hudson, ISBN 0-500-23136-2
  14. ^ "Strozzi, Zanobi". The National Gallery, London. Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
  15. ^ a b c Rossetti, William Michael (as attributed) (18 March 2016). "Fra Angelico". orderofpreachersindependent.org. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  16. ^ The tomb has been given greater visibility since the beatification.
  17. ^ Rossetti 1911, p. 7.
  18. ^ Michael Baxandall, Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy,(1974) Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-881329-5
  19. ^ Paolo Morachiello, Fra Angelico: The San Marco Frescoes. Thames and Hudson, 1990. ISBN 0-500-23729-8
  20. ^ The Crucifixion in the online databank of the MET.
  21. ^ Ross Finocchio in an essay on Fra Angelico at The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History in 2006.
  22. ^ "Dormition of the Virgin". on WikiArt.org
  23. ^ "San Marco Altarpiece". Web Gallery of Art. Retrieved 2014-05-29.
  24. ^ a b Morris, Steven (20 April 2007). "Lost altar masterpieces found in spare bedroom fetch £1.7m". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-09-28.
  25. ^ Morris, Steven (14 November 2006). "A £1m art find behind the spare room door". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-09-28.

References

  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainRossetti, William Michael (1911). "Angelico, Fra". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 2 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 6–8. Rossetti's article includes an assessment of the body of work, from the pre-Raphaelite viewpoint.
  • Hood, William. Fra Angelico at San Marco. Yale University Press, 1993. ISBN 978-0-300-05734-8
  • Morachiello, Paolo. Fra Angelico: The San Marco Frescoes. Thames and Hudson, 1990. ISBN 0-500-23729-8
  • Frederick Hartt. A History of Italian Renaissance Art, Thames & Hudson, 1970. ISBN 0-500-23136-2
  • Giorgio Vasari. Lives of the Artists. first published 1568. Penguin Classics, 1965.
  • Donald Attwater. The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. Penguin Reference Books, 1965.
  • Luciano Berti. Florence, the city and its Art. Bercocci, 1979.
  • Werner Cohn. Il Beato Angelico e Battista di Biagio Sanguigni. Revista d'Arte, V, (1955): 207–221.
  • Stefano Orlandi. Beato Angelico; Monographia Storica della Vita e delle Opere con Un'Appendice di Nuovi Documenti Inediti. Florence: Leo S. Olschki Editore, 1964.

Further reading

  • Nathaniel Silver (ed.), Fra Angelico: Heaven of Earth, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston 2018
  • Gerardo de Simone, Il Beato Angelico a Roma. Rinascita delle arti e Umanesimo cristiano nell'Urbe di Niccolò V e Leon Battista Alberti, Fondazione Carlo Marchi, Studi, vol. 34, Olschki, Firenze 2017
  • Cyril Gerbron, Fra Angelico. Liturgie et mémoire (= Études Renaissantes, 18), Brepols Publishers, Turnhout 2016. ISBN 978-2-503-56769-3;
  • Gerardo de Simone, "La bottega di un frate pittore: il Beato Angelico tra Fiesole, Firenze e Roma", in Revista Diálogos Mediterrânicos, n. 8, Curitiba (Brasil) 2015, ISSN 2237-6585, pp. 48–85 – http://www.dialogosmediterranicos.com.br/index.php/RevistaDM
  • Gerardo de Simone, "Fra Angelico: perspectives de recherche, passées et futures", in Perspective, la revue de l'INHA. Actualités de la recherche en histoire de l'art, 1/2013, pp. 25–42
  • Gerardo de Simone, "Velut alter Iottus. Il Beato Angelico e i suoi 'profeti trecenteschi'", in 1492. Rivista della Fondazione Piero della Francesca, 2, 2009 (2010), pp. 41–66
  • Gerardo de Simone, "L'Angelico di Pisa. Ricerche e ipotesi intorno al Redentore benedicente del Museo Nazionale di San Matteo", in Polittico, Edizioni Plus – Pisa University Press, 5, Pisa 2008, pp. 5–35
  • Gerardo de Simone, "L'ultimo Angelico. Le "Meditationes" del cardinal Torquemada e il ciclo perduto nel chiostro di S. Maria sopra Minerva", in Ricerche di Storia dell'Arte, Carocci Editore, Roma 2002, pp. 41–87
  • Creighton Gilbert, How Fra Angelico and Signorelli Saw the End of the World, Penn State Press, 2002 ISBN 0-271-02140-3
  • John T. Spike, Angelico, New York 1997.
  • Georges Didi-Huberman, Fra Angelico: Dissemblance and Figuration. University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1995. ISBN 0-226-14813-0 Discussion of how Fra Angelico challenged Renaissance naturalism and developed a technique to portray "unfigurable" theological ideas.
  • J. B. Supino, Fra Angelico, Alinari Brothers, Florence, undated, from Project Gutenberg
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