Wednesday, September 22, 2004

painted angels

AMKA is preaching on angels, which in typical fashion got me to thinking about them, and mostly to think about the pictures of angels that we recently looked at on our trip.

First there is this frescoe by Fra Angelico. (If you click to this link, go ahead and click on the picture to really see it).

It's rather large, and is located on a wall, and one sees it by climbing broad stairs that face it in what used to be a Dominican monastery in Florence called the Convent of San Marco.

FA was a prior of the monastery, and in the 1400s he painted several frescoes that are on display at what is now a museum. But if you climb the stairs, you will see this frescoe of the Annunication, when the Angel Gabriel brought news to the young Mary that she is going to give birth to the Christ child. This floor is where the cells or rooms of the monks are located, so they saw this painting in their coming and going. FA also painted at least 10 smaller frescoes -- each cell has one fresco painted in it of a particularly biblical scene.

Very little of the late medieval art that we saw had references to the Annunication. But the Renaissance painters of Italy painted several versions of it. Why? Is this just my random observation?

This Annunication painting is by Leonardo Da Vinci is in the Uffizzi Gallery. Not bad to stop and stare at it, and feel in awe on the afternoon of one's third day in a city where this art was made and is now preserved.

At the same museum is this very lovely painting of the Madonna with Child and Two Angels by Fra Filippo Lippi, another monk. One of the guide books said that the model for the Virgin was his love interest. Unlike the stern medieval Marys (with Christ childs that were serious little men), this is a great picture of a baby.


Fred said...

Good to share a birthday with an episcopalian dirt gardner.

Don said...

Thanks, Fred. Glad you stopped by.