(b nr. Vicchio, c.1395; d Rome, 18 Feb. 1455). Florentine painter, a Dominican friar. His nickname means ‘the angelic brother’, and in popular tradition he has been seen as ‘not an artist properly so-called but an inspired saint’ (Ruskin); however, he was in fact a highly professional painter, who was in touch with the most advanced developments in contemporary Florentine art, and in later life he travelled extensively for prestigious commissions. He is first recorded as a painter in 1417 and by 1423 he had become a member of the Dominican Order at S. Domenico, Fiesole, near Florence, where he took the name Fra Giovanni. He probably began his career as a manuscript illuminator, and his early paintings are strongly influenced by International Gothic.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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