Fra Angelico was born just a hundred years after Giotto in a nearby village. His parents called him Guido, and that was his name until he joined the Order of Dominican monks at a nearby convent. From that time until his death, he was known as Frate Giovanni (Brother John). Today, he is known worldwide as Fra Angelico because of his heavenly artwork and pure heart.
At that time, there was a struggle for power going on in the church that lead to the monks of that Dominican order leaving their convent and ultimately separating. Our Fra Giovanni traveled to nearby Assisi, where he joined a group of Franciscan monks. In Assisi, Fra Angelico often knelt and studied the works that Giotto had left behind. He would then return home and paint his own visions. Eventually, he was able to return to his home convent, where he continued to paint, surrounded by the beauty of that area.
Cosimo de Medici, a powerful ruler of Florence, soon offered Fra Angelico and his brothers a new home inside that city. He invited Fra Angelico to fresco the walls of the new convent, and Angelico was thrilled to oblige. He incorporated the Order’s favorite saints into the pictures. His work often included visions of Heaven. Eventually, the Pope saw one of Angelico’s paintings and invited him to come to Rome and paint the walls of a chapel there. Eventually, the Pope asked Angelico to become Archbishop at Florence. Angelico refused, recommending a friend for the job because being the Archbishop would mean less time for painting. Angelico died while he was in Rome, leaving behind many beautiful pieces of art for us to discover.
Books: Great Artists, Volume 5 by Jennie Ellis Keysor (Angelico is pages 53-106) https://www.google.com/books/edition/Great_Artists/BjouAAAAYAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1
Photo of Artist: By Luca Signorelli – Web Gallery of Art (link goes to archived version of deleted web page), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3206891