One of the most famous Renaissance painters: not da Vinci, not Michelangelo. Blessed Fra Angelico: Faith, skill and legacy was so great he earned a reputation for having “a rare and perfect talent.”
His name means Angelic friar, so his beatification by John Paul II in 1982 only confirmed the title.
‘Angelico was reported to say “He who does Christ’s work must stay with Christ always”. This motto earned him the epithet “Blessed Angelico”, 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 Virgin Mary.’ – Pope Saint John Paul II
Fra Angelico was an early Renaissance painter whos most well known for his series of frescoes he painted in his own friary in Florence, his career spanning from 1408 – 1455. Throughout his life, he was called upon by popes as a trusted artist for chapels within the Vatican, frescoing the Niccoline Chapel.
He was at the forefront of artistic innovation in Florence, pioneering many of the stylistic trends of his time, and seen as the predecessor to many famous Renaissance painters.
“Fra Angelico had demonstrated that painterly skill and the artist’s personal interpretation were sufficient to create memorable works of art, without the expensive trappings of blue and gold. In the use of the unadorned fresco technique, the clear bright pastel colours, the careful arrangement of a few significant figures and the skillful use of expression, motion and gesture, Michelangelo showed himself to be the artistic descendant of Fra Angelico.”
After his death, it was said of his life: “it is impossible to bestow too much praise on this holy father, who was so humble and modest in all that he did and said and whose pictures were painted with such facility and piety.”