February 19, 2010

Fra Angelico

The Mocking of Christ

I was halfway through the day yesterday when I realized it was the feast of Fra Angelico, the great Dominican painter, and patron of artists. He is only a blessed, so his feast is not really celebrated, in fact it is only in Dominican calendars that it is even noted. But, in honor of him, I want to share with you my favorites of his paintings and frescoes.

I had the great pleasure of seeing this exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art several years ago. It was huge. And it was incredibly powerful. I was even more in love with him after this than I had been before (and he was already a favorite). What struck me most of all was the joy and innocence in his painting. His work is filled with charm--by which I mean grace. (I should have bought the Catalogue when I had the chance.)

His "Adoration of the Magi" is delightful for its brilliant colors, funny characters, and peacocks on the roof (click here for a closer look):

I think this Madonna and Child (The Madonna of Humility) is so very sweet:

But this Madonna always takes my breath away (would that I were ever so much at peace as she is here!):

This is, of course, the very best:

The Annunciation

PS. One of the priests here suggested I start invoking Fra Angelico's intercession for better Catholic Children's books. Good plan. Join me!

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