Italian Artists: Giotto, Fra Angelico, and Filippo Lippi

Giotto di Bondone (1266/7–1337) was the first of the great Italian masters. Like most artists of his day, his work focuses on religious subjects, with spectacular examples including frescoes in Assisi, the Arena Chapel in Padua and the Church of Santa Croce.

In this Giotto painting of The Adoration of the Magi, his careful composition and lifelike expressions of his figures brighten and warm the image.

The Adoration of the Magi
Giotto di Bondone, possibly ca. 1320

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1911 (11.126.1)


Giotto - Scrovegni - -31- - Kiss of Judas

The Arrest of Christ (Kiss of Judas) Giotto di Bondone, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro; (c. 1395 – 1455) was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance, described by Vasari in his Lives of the Artists as having “a rare and perfect talent.” He is best known for the series of frescoes he painted for his own friary, San Marco, in Florence.

The Italian artist Giotto brought a dimension and humanity to painting that revolutionized the European art world. Can you see his influence in Fra Angelico‘s work?


This colorful, inventive, and beautifully painted early Renaissance work by Fra Angelico portrays the crucifixion.

The Crucifixion
Fra Angelico, ca. 1420-1423

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Maitland F. Griggs Collection, Bequest of Maitland F. Griggs, 1943 (43.98.5)


Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo Lippi, The Adoration of the Magi

Adoration of the Magi, tondo by Fra Angelico and Filippo Lippi, c. 1450 (NGA, Washington) National Gallery of Art, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


Filippo Lippi (c. 1406–1469) is an Italian artist of the Renaissance whose name is familiar from a poem by Robert Browning. His finest fresco cycle is located in Prato cathedral and depicts the lives of St. Stephen and St. John the Baptist.

Fra Filippo Lippi and Workshop, The Nativity, probably c. 1445, NGA 422

The Nativity Filippo Lippi, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fra Lippo Lippi by Robert Browning

British Artists

Hudson River School Artwork