Cool facts about Fra Angelico

11:04 AM

Annunciation by Fra Angelico, 1443
Fra Angelico is an incredible Italian painter from the early Renaissance period whose work focused greatly on Christian themes. Here's some interesting information about him:

His real name was Guido di Pietro. When he entered the Dominican convent he changed his name for Giovanni. "Fra"  means brother in italian. "Angelico", meaning angelic, was more or less a nickname his contemporaries gave him, specially after his death.

Virgin Mary Annunciate by Fra Angelico, 1433
He is considered the Saint Thomas of Aquinas of painting. He seemed to be illustrating the doctrines of the Catholic Church as they were developed by the Saint Thomas in his theological works.

It is attritubeted to Vasari the statement that in 1445 the Pope thought of making him archbishop of Florence. Fra Angelico refused, recomending another friar who would later become Saint Antoninus.

Coronation of the Virgin (detail) by Fra Angelico, 1435
He was influenced by Massaccio but Fra Angelico refused to put any drama or angst in his paintings. To him. there's no place for angst in the law pre-establish by divine omnipotency - there is only charity and forgiveness.

In 1982, Pope John Paul II beatified him. He is considered the patron of Catholic artists.

All images via WikiPaintings:  1, 2, 3

What do you think of Fra Angelico's life and work? Which of his paintings do you like most?

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