Feb. 18, Fra Angelico, Patron of Artists

by Gerelyn Hollingsworth

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"Fra Giovanni was a simple and most holy man in his habits, and it is a sign of his goodness that one morning, when Pope Nicholas V. wished him to dine with him, he excused himself from eating flesh without the permission of his prior, not thinking of the papal authority."

"He never retouched or repaired any of his pictures, always leaving them in the condition in which they were first seen, believing, so he said, that this was the will of God. Some say that Fra Giovanni never took up his brush without first making a prayer. He never made a crucifix when the tears did not course down his cheeks, while the goodness of his sincere and great soul in religion may be seen in the faces and attitudes of his figures."

--from http://www.amazon.com/Lives-Artists-Oxford-Worlds-Classics/dp/019283410X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266458530&sr=1-2#noop> The Lives of the Artists, by Giorgio Vasari, the man who coined the term "Renaissance".

Fra Angelico -- Guido di Pietro da Mugello -- was born c. 1395. His name as a Dominican was Fra Giovanni. He died February 18, 1455. His tomb is in the Frangipane Chapel in the Basilica of S. Maria sopra Minerva. He was beatified in 1982 by Pope John Paul II, and in 1984, the Pope named Bl. Fra Angelico the Patron of Artists.

Guido di Piero, Known as Fra Angelico shows, on page 7, the Latin epitaph on the tomb.

A translation is provided on page 6:
"Here lies the venerable painter Fra Giovanni of the Order of Preachers. Let me not be praised because I was another Apelles, but because I rendered all my wealth to (what is) yours, O Christ; some (of my) works remain on earth, others in heaven. I first saw the light of the world in the city of Florence, the flower of Etruria."

Click here for a segment on "Fra Angelico: The Dawn of the Renaissance", from Rome Reports television.

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