Fra Angelico Facts

Fra Angelico Facts
Fra Angelico was an early Italian Renaissance artist and a monk, considered to be one of the most talented fresco painters of his time. He was born Guido di Pietro in approximately 1395 at Rupecanina in Mugello, but nothing is known of his parents. The earliest document of his existence is from October 17, 1417 when he joined the Carmine Church's religious confraternity. In 1418 there are records of his being paid for work as an artist in the church of Santo Stefano del Ponte. The earliest reference of Angelico as a monk dates to 1423. Fra Angelico went on to create some of the most beautiful frescoes of his time, being commissioned by Pope Eugene IV, Pope Nicholas V, and Cosimo de'Medici.
Interesting Fra Angelico Facts:
Fra Angelico's brother Benedetto also took his vows to become a monk in 1418.
Fra Angelico's religious name was Fra Giovanni da Fiesole. To become a monk (or friar) one had to change their name.
Fra Angelico started his career as a religious book illuminator but soon undertook painting frescoes.
Fra Angelico created several works between 1425 and 1430 including "Noli Me Tangere", "Lamentation", "Annunciation", "Crucified Christ with Saint John the Evangelist", "The Virgin", "Saints Dominic and Jerome", "The Nativity", "Transfiguration", "Mocking of Christ with the Virgin and Saint Dominic", "Christ Resurrected and the Mary's at the Tomb", and "Coronation of the Virgin and the Presentation in the Temple".
Much of Fra Angelico's early work was created at the monastery where he lived.
Fra Angelico and his brother Fra Benedetto opened a shop in the 1420s where they created many large altarpieces for various clients, as well as other pieces of art.
From 1438 to 1445 much of Fra Angelico's work focused on pieces for the Dominican monastery of San Marco, including frescoes and altarpieces. Fra Angelico's frescoes graced the corridors, the chapter house, and the rooms of the church and monk's quarters.
The Strozzi family commissioned a panel called the "Deposition" for the Church of Sta Trinita from Fra Angelico around the same time as his work on San Marco. The piece is considered a masterpiece.
Fra Angelico served as prior (a monastery's second-in-command) at the San Domenico at Fiesole in Florence for three years from 1450 to 1452.
Between 1450 and 1455 Fra Angelico painted "Saint Lawrence Giving Alms", The Ordination of Saint Lawrence", "The Stoning of Saint Stephen", and "Saint Lawrence Receiving the Treasures of the Church".
Of the work Fra Angelico completed in his last few years, the main surviving works include frescoes of the lives Saints Lawrence in the Vatican in Rome.
Fra Angelico died on February 18th, 1455 in Rome and was buried in the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva.
There are three panels of an altarpiece that Fra Angelico created for the high altar of the Dominican church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, now located at Yale University Art Gallery, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, and in a private collection.
In 1982 Pope John Paul II made Fra Angelico a 'blessed' individual (a process called beatification) and his religious name became "Beato Angelico" which means "Blessed Angelic One".


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