October 26, 2005 - January 29, 2006
The Metropolitan Museum
(Italian, ca. 1395 - 1455)
Madonna and Child, ca. 1449-1453
Tempera on panel 18 3/8 x 13 13/16 in.
Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland
Photo credit: "Kunstmuseum Bern,
Legat Adolf von Stürler, Versailles,
Inv. Nr. G 0874, Ref. Nr.
There is little doubt
that the Italian Renaissance is dominated by the artists Leonardo,
Michelangelo, and Raphael. In terms of the scope of artistic output,
their talent is indisputable. During their lifetimes, all three
men were acknowledged as great artists and collectively received
some of the most important artistic commissions from the church
and the powerful families of Florence and Rome.
But there are many
other Italian Renaissance artists that are worth your attention.
One of these artists is the painter Fra Angelico.
Guido di Pietro (1390/5-1455)
was born north of Florence and was already an artist when he joined
the Dominican Order in Fiesole where he assumed the name Fra Giovanni.
During his lifetime he received many artistic commissions for
altarpieces in Dominican houses in Fiesole, Florence, Cortona,
and Perugia. He is best known for the frescoes created for the
dormitory cells at San
Marco in Florence.
Fra Angelico (Italian, ca. 1395 - 1455)
Paradise, ca. 1435-40 (Detail on right)
Tempera on panel 40 1/2 x 11 1/8 in.
Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany
Photo credit: Foto Jörg P. Anders, Berlin
Copyright: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Gemäldegalerie
Due to his extremely
sensitive and serene handling of religious subjects, Fra Giovanni
depicted his subjects with a depth of psychological interest that
was unprecedented at the time. After his death, Fra Giovanni became
known as "pictor angelicus," which has been loosely translated
as Fra Angelico.
In 1984, Fra Angelico
was beatified by Pope John Paul II, who stated: "because of the
perfect integrity of his life and the almost divine beauty of
the images he painted, to a superlative extent those of the Blessed
(Italian, ca. 1395 - 1455)
The Healing of Palladia by Saint Cosmas and Saint Damian,
tempera (and oil?) on panel 14 1/4 x 18 1/4 in.
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
For the first time
in the United States, The Metropolitan Museum of Art will feature
a retrospective of one of the finest Italian Renaissance artists
known as Fra Angelico. The exhibition will feature almost 80 drawings,
paintings, manuscript illuminations from his career. In addition,
the exhibition is supplemented by 45 other works by Fra Angelico's
assistants and followers. Some of the paintings have never been
For more information
about Fra Angelico visit the The
Metropolitan Museum of Art's web site.
to learn more about the art of Fra Angelico.
Visit Amazon to purchase
the exhibition catalog: Fra
Angelico by Laurence Kanter.