The San Marco museum in Florence (Museo di San Marco) houses a major collection of works by Fra Angelico, a Dominican monk and one of the most talented painters of the early Renaissance.
San Marco is a religious complex in the centre of Florence, consisting of a church and a large convent, now home to the museum. The convent was founded in 1436 and played an important role in the religious and cultural life of the city. Many of the convent’s walls and almost all of the cloister cells are decorated with frescoes by Fra Angelico, who was a resident between 1436 and 1445.
Fra Angelico’s altarpiece for the church of San Marco is considered to be his masterpiece, commissioned by Cosimo de’ Medici the Elder. The main panel depicts the enthroned Virgin and Child surrounded by Angels and Saints, and is considered one of the best early Renaissance paintings, both for the painting technique and for its contents.