Fra Angelico I
1387 -18.02.1455

A brief biography.


Fra Angelico was born near Castello di Vicchio in the province of Mugello, Tuscany, 1387.
He was christened Guido, and his father's name being Pietro, he was known as Guido, or Guidolino di Pietro da Vicchio,  In the Dominican order known as Giovanni da Fiesole (John of the Angels of Fiesole). Domenico di Giovanni of Corella, O.P. named him Fra Angelico in 1469. His full appellation today is that of  'Blessed Fra Angelico Giovanni da Fiesole'. 


In the priory at Fiesole.


   He and his supposed younger brother, Fra Benedetto da Fiesole, or da      

   Mugello (+1448), joined the order of Preachers in 1407, in  the priory at 



   The painter Luca Signorelli (1441-1523) on the foreground,
   with Fra Angelico.  Italy 1953, Mi 898, Sc 639.


   The two brothers began their art careers as illustrators of manuscripts in   



Refuge to the priory at Foligno and stay in Cortona.


On account of the struggle for the pontifical throne between Gregory XII, Benedict XIII, and Alexander V, Fra Giovanni and Fra Benedetto, being adherents of the first named, had  to leave Fiesole in 1409, taking refuge in the priory in Foligno in Umbria. There Fra Angelico had come under the influence of Giotto. Angelico's paintings show the influence of the Siennese school, and it is thought he may have studied under Gherardo, Starnina, or Lorenzo Monaco.

The pest devastating Foligno in 1414, the brothers went to Cortona, where they spent four years and are found some of his best pictures.

Then returned to Fiesole. Angelico remained there for sixteen years.

Years at the priory of San Marco.


Fra Angelico was in 1439 invited to Firenze to decorate the new Convent of San Marco which had just been allotted to his order, and of which Cosmo de' Medici was a munificent patron.  It was at Firenze, however, where he spent six years, that he painted his most important (mural) works.


Roman period.


At the end of 1445, Pope Eugenius IV invited Fra Angelico to Roma and gave him work to do in the Vatican, where he painted for him and for his successor, Pope Nicholas V, the frescoes of two chapels. That of the cappella del Sacramento, in the Vatican, was destroyed later by Pope Paul III.
Eugenius IV than asked him to go to Orvieto to work in the chapel of the Madonna di San Brizio in the cathedral. This work he began in 1447, but did not finish, returning to Roma in the autumn of that year. Much later the chapel was finished by Luca Signorelli.


Return to Firenze, stay in Fiesole.


Around 1450 Fra Angelico returned to Firenze, where he became prior of the priory of San Domenico in Fiesole (1450-c. June 1452). His most notable work of this time was the cycle of 35 paintings of scenes from the life of Christ and other subjects, for the doors of a silver chest in the sanctuary of the Church of Santissima Annunziata in Firenze.

Return to Roma and Angelico's dead.


In 1453 or 1454, Fra Angelico again went to Roma, where he died 18th February 1455 in the Dominican priory near the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, where his tomb by Isaiah of Pisa, 15th century, remains an object of veneration.



The stamps are listed with the numbers of Elsa Morante: L' Opera completa dell' Angelico. Presentatione di Elsa Morante. Apparati critici e filologici di Umbereto Baldini. Milanoo - Rizzoli Editore. Prima editione marzo 1970. (EM ... number).  

Texts of the description of the painting or fresco are extracted from Gebriele Bartz Guidfo di Piero, known as Fra Angelico. Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft, Köln 1998. (Bartz, o.c.)


Many paintings are preserved in the Museo di San Marco, Firenze.   



The Disputation of the Sacrament (Italian: La disputa del sacramento), or Disputa, is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael (Raffaelo Santi 06.04.1483--06.04.1520)It was painted between 1509 and 1510 as the first part of Raphael's commission to decorate with frescoes the rooms that are now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. At the time, this room was know as the Stanza della Segnatura, and was the private papal library where the supreme papal tribunal met.

Raphael has created a scene spanning both heaven and earth.
Christ is surrounded by the Blessed Virgin Mary, John the Baptist and various biblical figures such as Adam, Moses and Jacob. God sits above Jesus, depicted reigning over the golden light of heaven. Below, on the altar sits the monstrance.
altar is flanked by theologians who are depicted debating Transubstantiation. Christ's body is represented in the Eucharist, which is discussed by representatives of the Church; among them are Pope Julius II, Pope Sixtus IV, Savonarola and Dante Alighieri.
Pope Sixtus IV is the gold dressed Pope in the bottom of the painting. Directly behind Sixtus is Dante, wearing red and
sporting a laurel wreath (symbolizing his greatness as a writer.
In the left hand corner, there is a bald figure reading a book

leaning over a railing.
This is Raphael's mentor and famous renaissance architect Bramante.
At the bottom of the painting three Dominicans are represented:
at the left Fra Angelico, in the middle Thomas Aquinas
and at the right Savonarola.

Ajman 1972, Mi 1891.



Head of Fra Angelico. It may be delivered from the painting of Raffael: Disputa del Sacramento.

Dijon, Exposition  l’Art pour Église.


France 1946. Postmark Dijon 26.6.1946.





EM 0

The Annunciation to the Virgin.
Parchment, 7 x 7 cm. (initial), 47,5 x 35 cm. (page size).
Missal, ms. 558, fol. 33v.

Museo di San Marco, Firenze.

Uganda 1989, Mi 755, Sc 740.





 EM 1

San Pietro Martire Triptych, 1428/29, detail.

Tempera on panel, 137 x 168 cm.

Museo di San Marco, Firenze.

Uganda 1989, Mi 756, Sc 741.


On the left the founder of the Order, St. Dominic, holding a lily and John the Baptist in a long hair shirt, carrying a staff, and on the right St. Peter Martyr and Thomas Aquinas. In the spaces between the finials, there are pictures of St.
Peter Martyr preaching and of his death. The lunettes above the arches show the Annunciation.




EM 6                                                                            


Madonna, Child  and angels. Ca. 1425-1430.
;Madonna dell' umilitá'.
Tempera on panel, 196 x 187 cm.

The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.


Gambia 1991, Mi 1285, Sc 1163.





 EM 7                                                               


Madonna and Child, 1428-1430, tempera on panel, 189 x 81 cm.

Certona del Galluzzo Triptych. Museo di San Marco, Firenze.


Uganda 1989, Mi 758, Sc 743.

Also: Dominica 1996, Mi 2231, Sc 1903.





EM 9 A


Fiesole Triptych, 1424-1430. Tempera on panel, 212 x 237 cm.

Central part. Preserved in the church of Saint Dominic, Fiesole.
Adapted by Lorenzo di Credi in 1501.


Central African Republic 1981, Mi 798, Sc 493.

The same painting: Ghana 1980, Mi 858, Bl 86; Sc 738, sheet 740.  
Uganda 1989,
Mi 757, Sc 742. Zaire 1987, Mi 947, Sc 1239.  


 EM 9 D


Christ in heaven with rows of Angels. 32 x 73 cm is
from the predella of the triptych Pala di Fiesole in the San Domenico church in
Fiesole (1424-1430). It was adapted by Lorenzo di Credi in 1501.

The nineteen Angels on the stamps are some of the 140 singing and music making Angels and are be found on the left side of the Christ at the top. This panel is preserved in the National Gallery in London.

Micronesia 1997, Mi 587-588; Sc 275-276.



 Return to Register A


EM 10


Madonna surrounded by Angels, ca. 1429.
Tempera on panel, 37 x 28 cm.
The whole panting.
Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main.


Uganda 1989, Mi Bl. 107, Sc 746. 

Central part on Nevis 2005, Mi 2131; Sc --.




EM 15


Madonna with Child and two Angels, 1430-1433.
'Madonna dell' umilitá'.

Tempera on panel, 61 x 45 cm. National Gallery, Mellon, Washington.


Gambia 1991, Mi 1284, Sc 1162.






EM 22 A


The Annunciation, ca. 1430-1432. Tempera on panel, 194 x 184 cm. (complete), 154 x 194 cm. (main panel).
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

Cameroon 1971, Mi 675, Sc C 178.

The entire panel: Ras al Chaima 1970, Mi 513.

Only the Angel Gabriel: Spain 1956, Mi 1092, Sc 852.


EM 22 D


The adoration of the Magi, predella (23 x 35 cm)
from The Annunciation, ca. 1430-1432.

Tempera on panel. Central part of the painting.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.


Togo 1970, Mi 836, Sc 763.

The same painting: Andorra, Spanish 1992, Mi 280, Sc 220.  Fujeira 1970, Mi 578.




EM 24 A
Virgin and Child making the
sign of blessing. Liniauoli Tabernacle,
wings open,
1433, tempera on panel, 233 x 133 cm.

Museo di San Marco, Firenze.

Gambia 1991, 1286, Sc 1164.



EM 24 H

Aadoration of the Magi, ppredella 39 x 56 cm. of
the Liniauoli Tabernacle
, 1433, tempera on panel.
Museo di San Marco, Firenze.

Ajman 1972, Mi 2400, Bl 524A.
The same painting:
Italy 1995, Mi 2412, Sc 2058.
Very retouch



EM 28 A

Annunciation, ca. 1432-1434. Tempera on panel, 175 x 180 cm.
Pala di Cortona.
Museo Diocesano, Cortona, Italy.

Ajman 1972, Mi 2169.


This altarpiece was intended for the priory church of
Saint Dominic in Cortona.


Only the central part on Gambia 1991, Mi 1287, Sc 1165;
Ghana 1980
, Mi 857, Bl 86; Sc 739, sh 740; Grenada 1987, Mi 1712; Sc 1571, sh 1575; San Marino 1987, Mi 1377-1378, Sc 1143-1144.
The angel Gabriel: Vatican City 1968, Mi 536-537; Sc C53-54.


EM 28 E


Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1432-1434, tempera on panel,
ca. 23 x 35 cm. Predella of the  Pala di Cortona, preserved
in the Museo Diocesano, Cortona, Italy.


Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M),2002, Sassone block 70. At the top Angel Gabriel and the Virgin of the Pala di Cortona,
EM 28 A. A small detail at the right-hand side. Uganda 1989, Mi 753, Sc 738.




EM 29

Madonna della Stella, before 1434. Tempera on panel, 84x51 cm., as a whole; 60x70 cm.  as a picture. This reliquary for Giovanni Masi is Fra Angelico’s only  standing Madonna''  (Bartz, o.c. p.31.  
On the predella at the left Peter of Verona, in the middle Saint Dominic and at the right Saint Thomas Aquinas.

The stamp
of Gambia represents the whole  reliquary, preserved in Museo di San Marco, Firenze.  Gambia 1991, Mi 1290, Sc 1168.

The central part: Palestinian Authority 2000, Mi 172, Sc 120.




EM 30


Annunciation, and Adoration of the Magi, 1434, tempera on
84 x 50 cm. Museo di San Marco, Firenze.


Ajman 1972, Mi 2492. 

Also Dominica 1996, Mi 2233, Sc 1905; Gambia 1991, Mi Bl 138; S c 1171.  






EM 31


The coronation of the Virgin, before 1434.

Tempera on panel, 69 x 37 cm. Central part.  

Museo di San Marco, Firenze.


Gambia 1991, Mi Bl 137, Sc 1170.







EM 33


The coronation of the Virgin.
Tempera on panel, 213x211 cm., 1434-1435.
Preserved in Musée du Louvre, Paris, named Pala du Louvre.
Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M.) 2007,
Sassone 880-886, block 88.

The altarpiece designed by Fra Angelico for the church of San Domenico in Fiesole shows the coronation of the Virgin surrounded by music making Angels and Saints in gorgeous raiment decorated with gold, kneeling below on a tiled floor. Coloured marble steps lead to the Gothic throne on which more saints are standing ,seen from below.
The Virgin is kneeling humbly to receive the crown from Christ.
















                    EM 33: details left.   Sassone 881, 883, 880, 882   EM 33: details right.


The predella of this panel gives events from the life of Saint Dominic. Click here.




 EM 34

The coronation of the Virgin,
  ca. 1434/1435.

Tempera on panel, 112 x 114 cm. The entire panel.

Many Dominican Saints: Dominic and one to me unknown Dominican (left); Peter Martyr, Catherine of Siena (right).

This picture was once in the hospice of the church of Santa Maria Nuova in Firenze, which was dedicated to Saint Aegidius. Today in the Galleria degli Uffizi, Firenze.


Grenada 1997, Mi Bl 480; Sc 2732.

The same painting:  Dominica 1996, Mi Bl 318, Sc 1907.




EM 35


Zechariahs writing the name of St. John. Tempera on panel, 27,3 x 24,9 cm Studio of Fra Angelico, 1434-1435.

This may have been a panel from the predella of the Coronation of the
Virgin in the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital. See Bartz o.c. p. 33.

Gambia 1991, Mi 1291, Sc 1169. Museo di San Marco, Firenze.







EM 40


Angel adoring or Angel of the annunciation, 1435.

Tempera on panel, 37 x 25 cm.        

This painting may be by the ‘Master of the Annunciation’, Angelico’s best pupil.


Turks and Caicos Islands 1997, Mi 1394, Sc 1237.



EM 49 A-F


Cortona Triptych, ca. 1430-1436.

Panel transferred to canvas, 218 x 240 cm.

“The Virgin is sitting with the Child on a throne covered with a gold brocade cloth, shaped above like a stone niche. The perspective is emphasized by the frame which overlaps the picture, and by the angels standing behind the throne.
Two vases of roses in front of the throne create
a spatial effect.

The side panels form a counterpoint with John the Evangelist and John the Baptist on the left and Saint Mark and Mary Magdalene on the right.
The altarpiece was probably commissioned  by Giovanni di Tommaso di Cecco.”
Bartz, o.c.
p. 23. 
Museo Diocesano, Cortona.

Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M.) 2005, Sassone:

799: EM 49 E: detail: The Child .

800: EM 49 E: detail: Angel.
801: EM 49 B: Christ crucified with the Blessed Virgin
        and Saint John the Evangelist.
802: EM 49 D: Saint John Evangelist and Saint John the Baptist.
803: EM 49 F: Saint Marc and Saint Mary Magdalen.
804: EM 49 E: The Blessed Virgin with the Christchild.


The whole painting  (S.M.O.M,) 2005, block 79.




EM 49 E


Cortona Triptych, ca. 1430-1436.

Panel transferred to canvas, 218 x 240 cm.

Center panel: Madonna with Child and Angels, 137 x 68 cm.

Museo Diocesano, Cortona.

Guinea-Bissau 1981, Mi 615, Bl 208 ; Sc C40.

The Madonna with Child: San Marino 1987, Mi 1378, Sc 1144; and Madonna with Child and one Angel: Zaire 1987, Mi 945, Sc 1237.




EM 53


Lamentation over the dead Christ, 1436-1441. Tempera on panel, 105 x 164 cm. Museo di San Marco, Firenze.

'Sebastiano Benintendi ordered the panel in 1436 for the Confraternity of Santa Maria della Croce al Tempio in Firenze. A possible predella is lost.' Bartz, o.c. p. 59.

St. Dominic on the left is said to have the patron’s features; on the right is the Blessed Villana, Sebastiano Benintendi’s grandmother.


Palestinian Authority 2001, Mi 175, Sc 142.

Antigua and Barbuda 1992, Mi 1625, 1626; Sc 1557, 1558.

Idem with overprint Barbuda Mail: Barbuda 1992, Mi 1381,1382, Sc 1280, 1281. Grenadines of Grenada 1977, Mi 229, Sc 221.






EM 57 D


Perugia Triptych 1437. Tempera on panel , 332 x 80 cm.

Only the middle panel: the Virgin with Child and four Angels.

Preserved in Galleria Nazionale dell' Umbria, Perugia.


Uganda 1989,  Mi 754, Sc 739.                                      

The same painting: Ghana 1980, Mi 857, Bl 86; Sc 737, Sh 740: Saint Lucia 1977, Mi 421,  Sc 428.                                                         





 EM 58


The Deposition, tempera on panel,
185 x 176 cm., 1435 -1440.


This block gives only a part of the painting, and very retouched.
Museo di San Marco, Firenze.

Adschman, Ajman 1972, Mi 1928, Bl 418A.







EM 59 A


Analena Altarpiece, ca. 1437-1400.
Tempera on panel, 180 x 202 cm.

Virgin and Child enthroned with six Saints: next to the seated Virgin
and Child  there are Peter Martyr and Francis on the outside, on the
left Cosmas and Damian, and on the right John the Evangelist and Lawrence.
Museo di San Marco, Firenze.                                          


Uganda 1989, Mi 759, Sc 744.                                               

and Zaire 1987, Mi 984, Sc 1240.




EM 60 A


San Marco Altarpiece, ca. 1439-1442.  Tempera on panel, 220 x 227 cm. Preserved in Museo di San Marco, Firenze.

Ordered by Cosimo dei Medici. The choice of Saints was based on his patron saints, Cosmas and Damian (at the foot of the Virgin), his brother's namesake, Lorenzo, and saint Mark, the patron saint of the church (on the left). On the right St. Dominic, St. Francis and St. Peter Martyr.


Central Africa Republic 1961, Mi 798, Bl 155; Sc C262B.

This is the painting without the predella. From this picture only the right-hand side. 
Antigua and Barbuda 1991, Mi 1589, Bl 220; Sc

The mention on the stamp The adoration of the Magi.
(Cook Tondo) is wrong.









EM 60 F


San Marco Altarpiece: The lamentation over the dead Christ,
1439 - 1442.

Predella, tempera on panel, 38 x 46 cm.

Preserved in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen,
Alte Pinakothek, München.


Grenadines of Grenada 1977, Mi 232, Sc 228.
In the block 1977, Mi Bl 27, Sc 228.

This block is EM ?  : Arrest of Christ. Fresco ca. 1450, 182 x 181 cm. Museo di San Marco, cell 33, Firenze.


Some authors think that this fresco is from the pupils of Fra Angelico.





EM 62


Madonna with Child, 74 x 52 cm., ca. 1438-1440.

Also named Madonna with the lily.

This panel was preserved in the collection of Quant in Dresden, later
in the Museum in Oldenburg and at last bought by the Society Rembrandt
for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Rwanda 1987, Mi 1384, Bl 105; Sc 1301.






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