Friday, December 30, 2011

Angelico, Fra

Tempera on wood
150 x 180 cm
Museo Diocesano, Cortona, Italy

Fra Angelico (c. 1395 – 1455) was an Early Italian Renaissance painter described as having "a rare and perfect talent". His skill in creating monumental figures, representing motion, and suggesting deep space through the use of linear perspective mark him as one of the foremost painters of the Renaissance.

Angelico is known in Italy as il Beato Angelico, the term "Il Beato" ("Blessed One") being already in use during his lifetime or shortly thereafter, in reference to his skills in painting religious subjects. He has been seen as 'not an artist properly so-called but an inspired saint'. All of his many paintings were of divine subjects, and it seems that he never altered or retouched them, perhaps from a religious conviction that, because his paintings were divinely inspired, they should retain their original form. He was wont to say that he who illustrates the acts of Christ should be with Christ.
Angelico died in Rome and was buried in the church of S. Maria sopra Minerva, where his tombstone still exists.

Pope John Paul II beatified Fra Angelico in 1982 and declared him patron of Catholic artists in 1984.
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. (Pope John Paul II)