Fra Angelico, as he is known in English, is il Beato Angelico in Italian and was known to his contemporaries as
Fra Giovanni da Fiesole. By the time Vasari published his "Lives of the
Artists" in 1555, Fra Angelico was already known as Fra Giovanni Angelico (Brother
John, the Angelic
One). He was born Guido di Pietro, at Rupecanina, in Vicchio di
Mugello, near Fiesole, some time around 1395 and died in Rome in 1455. The appellation "Beato" was a
measure of the esteem in which his painting was held and not a reference to his
beatification, which took place only in 1984.
Fra Angelico not only gained recognition as a painter but was held in high
regard in his convent because he was appointed Vicario for the first
time in Fiesole from 1432-33, a post he was to hold frequently in later years.
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