Fra Angelico (1395-1445)
Fra Angelico was born in Vicchio, Tuscany and received early training as an illustrator, but the true passion of his life was the church and the ascetic lifestyle to which he devoted himself. One of his earliest known paintings, Annunciation, is one of the first ever paintings to be depicted in a linear perspective. He only painted religious themes, and The Annunciation and The Last Judgement were themes he frequently painted. Fra Angelico worked during a time when the style of painting was changing, but remaining true to his style, perhaps out of religious conviction, Angelico never retouched his paintings, saying they were divinely inspired.
The altarpiece at San Marco is one the first representations of what is known as Sacred Conversation: the Madonna surrounded by angels and saints who seem to share a common space. Pope Eugenius IV summoned Fra Angelico to Rome in 1445 to paint Frescoes for the now destroyed Chapel of the Sacrament in the Vatican. Fra Angelico died in the Dominican convent in Rome on March 18, 1455.
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