Fra Angelico

Fra Angelico - 1

  • Year of birth: 1395
  • Date of death: 18 Feb 1455
  • Country: Italy


This Italian artist of the early Renaissance to a wide audience more familiar as fra Angelico with a light hand of Giorgio Vasari. The master turned out to be a lot of names. At birth his name was Guido di Pietro, after taking monastic vows of the artist called fra Giovanni Da Fiesole (brother John from Fiesole). Very soon it received from Vasari the nickname “Angelico” (“angelic”) began to add the name “Beato”, meaning “Blessed.” This nickname was officially enshrined in the Vatican until 1984, when he was canonized and became the official patron Saint of artists.

The name “Beato” had received them not only for religious and intellectual content of paintings. He not only formally belonged to the monks of the order. Fra Angelico was a truly religious man who did not set to work without prayer. Immediately reminded of the Orthodox icon painters, for which fasting, prayer and repentance are an integral part of the creation of a religious masterpiece.

The future painter was born in 1400 in a small town near Florence. At the age of 18 years he entered a monastery of the Dominican order. It is not known where, how long and with whom he studied painting, as the first known samples of his work are to 1428 1433 or year. Many of the early frescoes of the master has not survived to our days.

Fra Angelico was a talented wizard, create a wonderful, gentle and a bit naive frescoes, perfectly accorded with the spirit of the time. He had disciples and followers, including the famous artists Antoniazzo Romano and benozzo Gozzoli.

After many years of absence and work at the Vatican, fra Beato returned to Florence in 1449 and became the Abbot of the monastery of the Dominicans in the city, where he took monastic San Fiesole.

Lived the artist-monk little by today’s standards – 55 years, he is buried in Rome where two years later his father arrived on a call of Pope Nicholas V. it is believed that the epitaph on surviving the grave was written by the Pontiff.

Preserved frescoes of the artist allow us to assess the truth of his recognition of the angelic and blissful. Indeed, all his works are filled with religious spirit, they are light and heartfelt. For all its deep religiosity, he was no stranger to new trends in art, in particular, used the term, giving in-plane image volume and expressiveness.

The master managed to convey in paintings the feelings that he experienced at the time of their writing. And that’s what makes the picturesque, alive, touch the heart and soul even after many centuries after the death of their Creator.