A Analysis Of The Paintings Of Fra Angelico

3244 words - 13 pages

Throughout the entire history of art, many of the most beautiful paintings in the world happened in the period known as the "Renaissance". The Renaissance featured works by many of the world's most famous artists. Leonardo DiVinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael were just a few of these well-known painters. Many Renaissance paintings dealt with Christianity by either telling biblical stories, or showing famous Christian figures. One artist artwork is a man who is very well known in the art world but not as famous to the general public is Fra Angelico.Fra Angelico was born in the town of Mugello, which is to the north of Florence. While it is known for sure that Fra Angelico died in Rome in 1455, it is unsure of the exact year of his birth. Some analysis of are history believe that he died at the age of 68, meaning he was born in 1347, but no one is certain (Lloyd, 7). When Fra Angelico was born he was originally named Guido di Piero and he had a brother named Benedetto. Both Guido and Benedetto were very religious, and in 1418 they both joined a confraternity that met at the church of Santa Maria del Carminen where people gathered to pray (Hood, 23). Between 1419 and 1423, Guido di Piero and his brother Benedetto decided to become Dominican Friars. It was around this time when Guido di Piero underwent his first name change and became Friar Giovanni de frati sur Domenico da fiesole which literally means Friar John of one Friars of St. Dominic in Fiesole (Hood, 25). He only became known as Fra Angelico during the 16th century, which is around 50 years after his death.The church at San Marco is where many of Fra Angelico's great paintings can be found. Around the late 430's, the Dominican Friars with help from Pope Eugeni IV over took the church from the silverstrine monks. The Dominican Friars literally started to redecorate the church by bringing in Michelozzo (a Renaissance architect) to remodel the building and Fra Angelico to put in some spiritual paintings and enlightenment. This is where many of Fra Angelico's greatest paintings can be found.One figure who appears in many of the paintings at San Marco is Saint Dominic. The reason for this being that the order in the church of San Marco was the Dominican order who followed the life of Saint Dominic by taking vows of poverty and chastity. The Friars of the Dominican order were not allowed to own any property or to be married and have children. Fra Angelico became a member of the Dominican order between the years 1419 - 1423 (Hood, 24). This is why St. Dominic appears in many of Fra Angelico's works at the church of San Marco.Once you walk into the church of San Marco, the first painting you see is Fra Angelico's (Saint Dominic with the Crucifix" a fresco painted around 1442. Fra Angelico did many paintings with St. Dominic kneeling next to the cross but this painting stands above and beyond the rest. If not for anything else, the size of this painting makes this stand out as one of Fra Angelico's...

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