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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Fra Angelico was a thoughtful, polite individual whose calmness was matched by the style of his paintings

There are few quotes remaining from any artists in this period, with only the masters who have been researched down to the minutest of details having much documentation available on their lives. You will find plenty of Michelangelo quotes, plus those from Leonardo da Vinci but the rest are distinctly under represented.

The three quotes that we do have speak immediately of the artist's strong connection to God. Christianity would be his inspiration and theme for most of his work and much of his early paintings would be located in convents and other religious buildings.

Famous Quotes by Fra Angelico

The influence of Fra Angelico's career on the development of the Early Renaissance has never been in doubt and, as such, his work has come up for discussion by art historians on many occasions. Some of the more insightful quotes are listed below, as well as some by other artists who were also inspired by his achievements.

He who does Christ's work must stay with Christ always.

I can paint pictures, but I cannot rule men.

He who wishes to paint Christ's story must live with Christ.

Quotes by Art Historians and other Artists on Fra Angelico

The role of Masaccio and Fra Angelico has been examined on multiple occasions in the centuries that have passed since, along with the earlier work of Giotto. Many have argued over particular attributions and details of their lives, but the general conclusions over their individual impact tend to be consistent.

From various accounts of Fra Angelico’s life, it is possible to gain some sense of why he was deserving of canonization. He led the devout and ascetic life of a Dominican friar, and never rose above that rank; he followed the dictates of the order in caring for the poor; he was always good-humored. All of his many paintings were of divine subjects, and it seems that he never altered or retouched them, perhaps from a religious conviction that, because his paintings were divinely inspired, they should retain their original form. He was wont to say that he who illustrates the acts of Christ should be with Christ. It is averred that he never handled a brush without fervent prayer and he wept when he painted a Crucifixion. The Last Judgment and the Annunciation were two of the subjects he most frequently treated.

William Michael Rossetti, English writer and critic and brother of Dante Gabriel Rossetti