The Easel

Fra Angelico and the Rise of the Florentine Renaissance

Gothic art was elegant but static. Although trained in that tradition, Angelico and others (notably Giotto) gravitated to newer ideas – about colour, perspective and, above all, on what it is to be human. Angelico’s Annunciation altarpiece reflects this transition – “medieval flatness gives way to Renaissance depth … his marriage between medieval and modern remains one of the peaks of European painting.”