Tabernacle of the Linaioli Fra Angelico Buy Art Prints Now
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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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The Tabernacle of the Linaioli is a huge, breathtaking artwork that made use of some of the finest artists in Renaissance history over several years to create this masterpiece

The overall piece features a variety of mediums, including marble and eg tempura. The outer elements of this piece were designed by sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti and then implemented by Simone di Nanni da Fiesole (Fiesole is a small town on the outskirts of Florence).

The strip along the bottom of this piece, featuring several smaller artworks together is known as a predella and dates 1433-1435. That was completed by Fra Angelico. The artist's work on the overall piece was for an agreed payment of 190 golden florins. The contract for this was signed by Angelico on 2 July 1433. There were many moving parts in the project as a whole but any logistical difficulties were thoroughly worth it once the astounding final piece was completed.

Tabernacle of the Linaioli translates as Tabernacle of the Linen manufacturers and is classed as a marble aedicula, although all of Angelico's work was on the internal paintings. The central panel has doors that fold back onto it which had the unforeseen benefit of helping to preserve the central panel for future generations. Tripychs were common during the Renaissance and follow a similar pattern of central panel with adjoining wings.

The original piece can be found in the National Museum of San Marco, Florence, central Italy. It has the finest collection of Fra Angelico's paintings and is well worth a visit, though check ahead to make sure that any favourites are on display. You will also find his Crucifixion with Saints, Annunciation and St Dominic worships the Crucifix at this venue.