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The frescoes by Angelico at San Marco Museum

Beato Angelico San Marco Museum

The Museum of San Marco is renowned not only for its works by Fra Angelico, but for the numerous examples of Florentine art and for the pervasive history of the Dominican Order. The presence of the fresco cycle by the great friar-artist makes it a sanctuary for Angelico’s art and transforms the Convent into one of the most important sites fro early Renaissance painting. The large number of frescoes, their specific destination and function, represent a unique moment for all painting, not just Florentine, at the beginning of the Quattrocento.
The full understanding and appreciation of the artworks in today’s museum may prove difficult at times due to the fact they are removed from their historical and physical context.

This is not the case with the frescoes by Fra Angelico in San Marco. They have remained in their original location in the Dominican convent, built by Michelozzo and financed by Cosimo de’ Medici, the Elder. Most of the convent has remained unaltered; thus the frescoes can still be viewed in relation to the architectural structure and convent life of the period.
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as a result of structural renovations, a Crucifixion by Angelico was demolished along with the Refectory wall, and a few frescoes in the cells in the north dormitory on the upper floor were lost, consequence of opening a window onto the Cloister.
During the 1600s other modifications saw the frescoed lunettes by Angelico in the Cloister made part of a narrative cycle dedicated to Saint Antonino. Nonetheless, the meaning and the significance in the art by the friar-artist of san marco has remained intact and perfectly appreciable.


Photogallery San Marco

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