Fra Angelico, whose real name would be Guido di Pietro, began painting late in life. And precisely his first big job would be at theSan Marco Conventlocated in the city ofFlorence. There, around the year 1433, he would paint what is known as theTriptych of the Linaiuoli, which is still exhibited in the refectory room, located on the ground floor of the convent
Crucifixion by Fra Angelico
But as we say that was the first painting, but without leaving that convent he made many other works. That is why today a large part of the pictorial work of this monk-artist is kept, representing the beginning of the Renaissance.
For example, there is a Altarpiece of the Trinity. A work begun by the painter Lorenzo de Monaco commissioned by the aristocrat Palla Strozzi, but that artist only finished the pinnacles of the upper part that relate the table to gothic art. However, later the repertoire of figures was already going to be the work of Fra Angelico, who gave his figures a monumental bearing which is one of the paths he opened for the new representation that arrived in the Quattrocento.
Also in the convent of San Marco many of the small decorative paintings that he made for certain liturgical furnishings are kept.
Soas there are samples of his work in fresco. In other words, he painted on different types of surfaces, and an example is the mural of Noli me Tangere, where he represents the appearance of Jesus Christ before Mary Magdalene who cries next to the tomb where he has been buried. after the Crucifixion.
But it is not the only fresco, there are also wall paintings by Fra Angelico in the convent cells, paintings that we would say are for more private use by the monks, so sometimes they have a more inspiring and symbolic tone. Quite the opposite of the large fresco he made of theCrucifixion in the Chapter House
Annunciation in the Convent of San Marcos
And of course there are representations of one of the favorite and most emblematic themes of this painter. We refer to The Annunciation that he painted on several occasions. Specifically, inside the convent of San Marcos we can see a mural representation of this scene at the end of the stairs that lead to the monks' cells.
In short, that the Convent of San Marco in Florence is surely the best place to learn about Fra Angelico's work, and also his life, since it is an extraordinary example of an artist who was above all a monk. His art was closely linked to his religious beliefs, but that way of expression also served him to be one of the protagonists of the evolution that Art History was going to undergo at the time of the Renaissance.