Angelico, Fra (c.1395-1455)
Christ, hovering on wispy clouds, is surrounded by angels who sing, dance and play musical instruments. He is shown triumphant over death: his red and white flag was associated with his resurrection; the wound in his right hand, caused when he was crucified, is a reminder of his physical suffering. The artist has incised the gold leaf around him with radiating lines to show that he gives out a golden light.
This is the central panel of the predella (lowest part) of an altarpiece made by Fra Angelico, a painter and friar, for his own convent church of San Domenico in Fiesole, a town just outside Florence. The main part of the altarpiece is still in Fiesole but the predella is now in the National Gallery. It is unusual: it shows Christ in glory surrounded by saints and angels, rather than narrative scenes of the lives of the saints. (NG)
These panel comes from the predella (lowest part) of the altarpiece made for the high altar of San Domenico, Fiesole.
• Predella della Pala di San Domenico (c.1423-1424)