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In 1982 Pope John Paul II conferred beatification, in recognition of the holiness of his life, thereby making this title official.
Fiesole is sometimes misinterpreted as being part of his formal name, but it was merely the name of the town where he took his vows, used by contemporaries to separate him from other Fra Giovannis.
He is listed in the Roman Martyrology as Beatus Ioannes Faesulanus, cognomento Angelicus-"Blessed Giovanni of Fiesole, nicknamed Angelico".
The 16th century biographer Vasari says of him: But it is impossible to bestow too much praise on this holy father, who was so humble and modest in all that he did and said and whose pictures were painted with such facility and piety. The earliest recorded document concerning Fra Angelico dates from October 17, 1417 when he joined a religious confraternity at the Carmine Church, still under the name of Guido di Pietro.
But in this instance, the saints stand squarely within the space, grouped in a natural way as if they were able to converse about the shared experience of witnessing the Virgin in glory.
Paintings such as this, known as Sacred Conversations, were to become the major commissions of Giovanni Bellini, Perugino and Raphael.
Vasari claims that at this time Fra Angelico was offered by Pope Nicholas V the Archbishopric of Florence, and that he refused it, recommending another friar for the position.Fra Angelico was born Guido di Pietro at Rupecanina, in the Tuscan area of Mugello, near Fiesole towards the end of the 14th century and died in Rome in 1455. This record also reveals that he was already a painter, a fact that is subsequently confirmed by two records of payment to Guido di Pietro in January and February 1418 for work done in the church of Santo Stefano del Ponte.The first record of Angelico as a friar dates from 1423, when he is first referred to as Fra Giovanni, following the custom of those entering a religious order of taking a new name.From 1408 to 1418 Fra Angelico was at the Dominican friary of Cortona where he painted frescoes, now destroyed, in the Dominican Church and may have been assistant to or follower of Gherardo Starnina.Between 14 he was at the convent of Fiesole where he also executed a number of frescoes for the church, and the Altarpiece, deteriorated but restored.