Fra Angelico

The Annunciation
    Not much is known about Fra Angelico's early life. However, this early Italian Renaissance painter was born around 1400 and was named Guido di Pietro. He was only called Fra Angelico or Beato Angelico, meaning the Blessed Angelico, after his death as a way of honor. Around 1418, he and his brother Benedetto decided to become monks in the Order of Dominican Preachers in Fiesole, Italy which is near Florence.
    In the early 1420s, Angelico and Benedetto started to take interest in a painter's workshop and held a room for copying documents in Fiesole. Many of Angelico's early works were made at the monastery of San Domenico in Fiesole. His works, The Annunciation and the Linaiuoli Altarpiece revealed the style and balance of Angelico's art.  The sincere people in his art are modeled in chiaroscuro, the arrangement of light and dark parts, and the saints stand out from the rest of the painting.
    During his middle years, Angelico worked on frescoes, a type of painting, for the Dominican monastery of San Marco in Florence. The frescoes by him and his assistants were placed throughout the corridors, chapter house, and rooms of churches. In thee paintings, the dramatic effect is increased by the architectural details of San Marco itself in some pictures. A grand masterpiece by Angelico was the Deposition, requested by the Strozzi family for the Church of Sta Trinita. The painting flourished with rich color and shine, and the scene of the sacred and non religious people reveal Fra Angelico as a true Renaissance artist.
    The last years of Angelico's life was mostly spent in Rome, with three years in Florence as prior of San Domenico at Fiesole. His main paintings from these years are the frescoes of scenes from the lives of Saints Lawrence and Stephen in the Chapel of Pope Nicholas V in the Vatican, Rome. The unique figures highlight the true tradition of Florentine fresco paintings. He died on February 18, 1455, at the age of 60.

For more information on Angelico, please visit this site: