Fra Angelico Biography | Oil Paintings
1-16-1395 Vicchio, ITA – 2-18-1455 Rome, ITABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Fra Angelico was one of a few Renaissance artists who joined the devout existence with a vocation as an expert painter. Little is known about his initial years, apart from the fact that he was born in Vicchio, near Florence, and that his real name was Guido Di Pietro, also called Fra Giovanni da Fiesole and Beato Angelico, commonly Fra Angelico.
Guido Di Pietro became a Dominican friar, entering the monastery of San Domenica in Fiesole. For the remainder of his life, he placed his art at the service of his faith, earning the nickname “Angelic”, by which he has become known to posterity.
Fra Angelico's earliest surviving works are small-scale and betray the astonishing eye for detail, suggesting that he may have begun his career as a manuscript illuminator. They also display the influence of the international Gothic style, which was starting to fall out of fashion.
Fra Angelico Developed the 'Alter Panel”
Deprived of artistic guidance by the premature death of Masaccio, the Florentine painters of the 1430's joined forces in the shared goal of a novel figurative culture, combining new discoveries with the search for rules based on the laws of geometry. Fra Angelico developed the 'alter panel”. A new model of sacred painting that led to the gradual disappearance of the outdated triptych format. In his frescoes in the Convent of San Marco and in his amazing panels, we discover an atmosphere of monumental solemnity, a deliberate feeling of space, a scholarly nearness, and an individual association that was to portray the colossal magnum opuses of the Italian Renaissance.
The painter monk adapted rapidly, however, engrossing Tommaso Mosaccios progressive thoughts regarding the association of space and perspective. He also tackled the most prestigious form of religious art: fresco painting. In this field, Angelico's most noteworthy accomplishment was a superb cycle of frescoes at the recently re-established cloister of San Marco in Florence.
Two missing pieces by Fra Angelico bought for $130 ea.
In November 2006 worldwide press coverage reported that two missing pieces by Fra Angelico had been found in Oxford, England, having been hung in the spare room. The art had been bought for $130 each in 1965. An art historian recognized them as being a high-quality Florentine renaissance, but it never occurred to anyone, not even all the art dealers approached on behalf of the owner, that this could be by him. They were finally identified in 2005 as such. The Italian Government wanted them, but they were outbid at auction in 2007 by a private collector for US$2.500,000. Both panels are now restored and in the San Marco Museum in Florence.
Art Movement History: Renaissance.
Artists Influencing Fra Angelico: Tommaso Masaccio, Monaco, Giotto di Bondone.
Painters Fra Angelico Influenced: Benozzo Gozzoli, Gentile da Fabriano, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Michelangelo, Jean Fouquet.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist.