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Fra Angelico was an early-Renaissance Italian painter who rose to prominence primarily by a series of frescoes for his own friars at San Marco in Florence. I must admit, they are breathtaking. If you go to Florence, be sure to check it out!

Today we present part of his “Annunciation” work. It represents a biblical story of the Archangel Gabriel announcing to the Virgin Mary that she has been chosen as the mother of Jesus. The work, once part of a large altarpiece, is placed on the upper left of the central painting and is fixed within an elaborate frame. Fra Angelico depicts the moment after the angel announces the good news; we know this because another Detroit Institute of Arts masterpiece shows the Virgin with her head bowed indicating that she has obeyed the will of God . The Annunciation was a very popular subject in 15th century altarpieces. Italian artists analyzed and depicted every aspect of this miracle.

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PS Have you heard of “Angel with Attitude” ? This is the story of the grumpy angel painted by the early Renaissance master Nicolo di Ser Sozzo. 😀

33 x 27 cm


Detroit Institute of Arts

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