Fra Angelico

Italian, ca. 1395–1455

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Fra Angelico

Italian, ca. 1395–1455

850
Followers
Biography

Lauded as the “angelic painter” after his death, Fra Angelico (known during his life as Fra Giovanni), pioneered volume measuring as the basis for modeling forms with light and shadow, the logical rendering of perspective, and other techniques that would come to characterize early Renaissance painting. He learned the use of mathematical perspective and sculptural treatment of human figures from the younger artist Masaccio, whose untimely death left Fra Angelico in the position to seize the mantel as Florence’s most modern and in-demand artist. The Medici-commissioned altarpiece he painted in the San Marco monastery (1438-43), considered the pinnacle of Fra Angelico’s career, exemplifies his groundbreaking narrative approach to painting. In it, he abandoned the traditional Gothic altarpiece format, rendering Madonna and child and all the surrounding saints and angels against a naturalistic background in a single square picture field.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
The New Yorker, and 1 more
Biography

Lauded as the “angelic painter” after his death, Fra Angelico (known during his life as Fra Giovanni), pioneered volume measuring as the basis for modeling forms with light and shadow, the logical rendering of perspective, and other techniques that would come to characterize early Renaissance painting. He learned the use of mathematical perspective and sculptural treatment of human figures from the younger artist Masaccio, whose untimely death left Fra Angelico in the position to seize the mantel as Florence’s most modern and in-demand artist. The Medici-commissioned altarpiece he painted in the San Marco monastery (1438-43), considered the pinnacle of Fra Angelico’s career, exemplifies his groundbreaking narrative approach to painting. In it, he abandoned the traditional Gothic altarpiece format, rendering Madonna and child and all the surrounding saints and angels against a naturalistic background in a single square picture field.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
The New Yorker, and 1 more
Articles Featuring Fra Angelico
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Dec 18th, 2018
The 11 Most Nightmarish Depictions of Hell in Art History
Nov 1st, 2018
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