Fra Angelico (“the angelic friar”; ca. 1390/95–1455) was one of Renaissance Florence’s leading painters. In addition to his celebrated altarpieces and frescos in Florence, Fiesole, Cortona, Perugia, and Rome, Fra Angelico also completed many masterpieces on a small scale. His predella panels, the small narrative scenes included beneath large altarpieces, are among the most innovative creations in fifteenth-century Florence, while his images of the Virgin and Child still retain the inspirational immediacy and presence that first secured the artist’s reputation as the premier painter of his age.
Research undertaken in the last fifty years now allows scholars to reconstruct a more historically reliable biography of Fra Angelico that goes beyond the legends and traditions to establish his position not only as one of the greatest masters of the fifteenth century, but also as one of the most intellectually accomplished painters who ever lived.
Laurence Kanter is Curator-in-Charge of the Robert Lehman Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and is Lionel Goldfrank III Curator of Early European Art at the Yale University Art Gallery. Pia Palladino is Associate Curator of the Robert Lehman Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Magnolia Scudieri is Director of the Museo di San Marco in Florence. Carl Strehlke is Curator of the John G. Johnson Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Victor Schmidt is Professor of Fine Arts at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Anneke de Vries is an independent art historian.