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Fra Angelico

Biographies
Fra Angelico

*  1387 nahe Vicchio
† 1455 Rom


Fra Angelico (also Beato Angelico, Fra Giovanni da Fiesole), one of the most renowned representatives of early Renaissance painting in Italy, was born near the small village of Vicchio in the Mugello region between 1386 and the turn of the century, presumably between 1395 and 1400. Initially he kept his name Guido di Pietro (di Mugello). He received lessons in painting presumably from Lorenzo Monaco in the mid 1410s .
It was not before 1407, but only after 1418 and before 1423 that Guido di Pietro (di Mugello) turned his back on his worldly existence and joined a Dominican abbey. Along with various clerical offices, the "angelic brother" Fra Angelico (Beato Angelico, Fra Giovanni da Fiesole) started an impressive career as panel-, miniature- and fresco painter.
Latest research show that Fra Angelico (Beato Angelico, Fra Giovanni da Fiesole) was quite open towards the innovations that Renaissance brought along – artists such as Masolino, Masaccio, Gentile da Fabriano and later also Lorenzo Ghiberti influenced his work. Fra Angelico´s art, in return, also left behind deep traces in Renaissance painting in Italy, for instance with Benozzo Gozzoli, Fra Filippo Lippi, Piero della Francesca and Domenico Veneziano. Not only lyrical beauty and deep piety, but also typical Renaissance features can be found in the monk´s artworks.
According to sources, Fra Angelico (Beato Angelico, Fra Giovanni da Fiesole) was particularly active as an artist in Florence in the 1430s, where he had decisive influence on contemporary art. Among his commissioners and patrons were the Medici and Strozzi. Among his main works in Florence are the frescos of the San Marco abbey.
Fra Angelico (Beato Angelico, Fra Giovanni da Fiesole) received an order from pope Eugene IV to adorn the sacrament chapel in Rome with frescos. Fra Angelico (Beato Angelico, Fra Giovanni da Fiesole) was also active for the succeeding pope Nicholas V.
Little is known about his later years. He returned to San Domenico in Fiesole before spring 1450 and was 1452 director of the monastery. Fra Angelico (also: Beato Angelico, Fra Giovanni da Fiesole) presumably spent his last years in Rome, where he died in 1455.