Fra angelico museo del prado

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Fra angelico museo del prado

The annunciation fra angelico analysis

This book has been published on the occasion of the technical study and conservation of the Annunciation Altarpiece by Fra Angelico undertaken for the exhibition Fra Angelico and the Rise of the Florentine Renaissance, held at the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, from May 28 to September 15, 2019.
The main purpose of restoring the work, carried out by Almudena Sánchez Martín at the Prado Museum Restoration Workshop, is to recover the rich, vivid colors and intense light that imbue the scene. Both are characteristic elements both of this piece and of the artist’s work in general but there were veiled under the layers of dirt and pollution accumulated on the surface over time.

Fra angelico museo del prado 2022

Of all the treasures in London’s National Gallery, none leavens my mood on a gloomy morning as much as the five predella panels from the first of Fra Angelico’s altarpieces for the San Domenico monastery in Fiesole (1423-4). In the central panel stands one of the most serene Christs of the Renaissance, clothed only in a simple white toga and with his right hand and two fingers raised. He stands on the gilded background, atop which grooved shafts of light emanate from his body, establishing his divine privacy and shining on the amassed choirs of angels gathered to praise him. The two panels on either side show the assembled ranks of prophets and saints, with two smaller outer panels filled with the most revered among the Dominican monks, aspirational figures for the altarpiece’s monastic audience.
I can’t pretend to be able to identify more than a small proportion of the figures present – though it is a fun game to try – but I am transfixed by their individualisation. Although tiny, each saint has different features and distinctive attire, in an astonishingly rich array of patterns and colours. Most look towards Christ, some solemnly, others overcome with joy. A few appear to converse, or to silently catch each other’s eyes in acknowledgement of their shared roles in the dissemination of their faith. Moses gazes outwards, brandishing his tablets as if to remind his beholders of their duty. For all the sacred pageantry of the scene, which might hold the record for the number of gold halos present in a work of art, Angelico’s luminaries feel human.


The Prado Annunciation is an altarpiece painted by Giovanni da Fiesole, known now as Fra Angelico, in the 1420s. Originally intended for the Observant Dominican convent of Fiesole, the painting is currently in the collection of the Museo del Prado in Madrid.The work is one of three altarpieces by Fra Angelico representing the Annunciation; the other two being the Cortona Annunciation and the Annunciation of San Giovanni Valdarno. The sequence in which the three works were painted is not certain, but the general art historical consensus places the Prado version first.
The work was painted for a side altar in the Convent of San Domenico, Fiesole, where Fra Angelico was a friar. For the same church he also contributed the main altarpiece, showing the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Dominican saints (c. 1425) and the Coronation of the Virgin, now in the Louvre (c. 1424-1435) .
The Annunciation remained at San Domenico until 1611 when it was sold to the King of Spain and taken to Madrid, where it became part of the royal collections of the Spanish monarchy before moving to Prado.


The fully illustrated book, with essays on Florence seen through Angelico’s eyes and Angelico’s paintings through Spanish eyes, is authored by Carl Brandon Strehlke, who has written extensively about the Renaissance masters of the fifteenth century. Ana González Mozo, an expert in Italian painting practice, focuses on the discoveries made during the technical analysis and conservation of the Museo del Prado’s The Annunciation and their importance for understanding the creation of a Renaissance work of art.

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