April 24, 2009.
The Italian artist Guido di Pietro da Mugello, better known as Fra Angelico, was considered “blessed” even before he was beatified because of the way he lived and painted.
Rome is celebrating the 550th anniversary of the artist’s death with an exhibition of his major works of art. A path that shows his artistic background from beginning to end.
Fra Angelico was a Dominican friar who began his artistic career making the thumbnails of missals and religious books. Later on he painted these monumental altarpieces and triptychs, and years later he came to paint in the Vatican at the request of several popes.
Gerardo De Simone
He was called to work in the Vatican by Pope Eugene IV and then also worked for his successor Pope Nicholas V.
Fra Angelico was one of the protagonists of the transition from Gothic to Renaissance art, a dual style that’s evident in his works.
Gerardo De Simone
He uses both golden backgrounds typical of Byzantine art and Gothic art and at the same time his figures are fully three-dimensional and are a very perspective order like Masaccio was only able to do before him.
Fra Angelico is known specially for his many depictions of the "The Annunciation", like this one less known that shows the genius of the artist to use color and to give a three-dimensional shape to the figures.
I love Fra Angelico’s delicateness to draw figures, faces, the miniatures. They way in which he uses the golden leaf in the background which gives a special and impressive highlight.
That is comprehensive, it's enormous comprehensive and beautifully displayed.
John Paul II beatified Fra Angelico in 1982. The exhibition will be open until next July at the Capitoline Museums in Rome. And once you’re in the city, you may visit his tomb in the Basilica of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.