Now On View

Fra Angelico

Heaven on Earth

February 22 - May 20, 2018
Hostetter Gallery

About the Exhibition

Renaissance master Fra Angelico transformed the history of western art with his breathtaking paintings. Heaven on Earth reunites the Gardner's magnificent Assumption and Dormition of the Virgin, acquired by Isabella in 1899 and the first Fra Angelico to reach the United States, with its three companions from the Museo di San Marco, Florence. Conceived as a set of jewel-like reliquaries for the Florentine church of Santa Maria Novella, they tell the story of the Virgin Mary's life. This exhibition invites you to explore Fra Angelico's ground-breaking narrative art, marvel at his peerless creativity, and immerse yourself in the material splendor of his craftsmanship.

Complementing Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth, the exhibition Isabella's Relics features numerous treasures of historical or personal significance collected by Isabella Stewart Gardner. Items as diverse as a lock of Franz Liszt's hair, armbands worn by the wife of the last Mughal emperor, and a portrait miniature of her only child, Jackie, who died at the age of two, are evocative for their tactile connections to notable events as well as their links to Isabella's private life and friendships.

Madonnas on Parade

Exhibition Catalog

Accompanying the exhibition at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, this catalogue explores one of the most important artists of the Renaissance. Fra Angelico (about 1395–1455) transformed Western art with pioneering images, rethinking popular compositions and investing traditional Christian subjects with new meaning.

Fra Angelico (Italian, about 1400-1455), The Dormition and Assumption of the Virgin, 1424-1434. Tempera with oil glazes and gold on panel, 85.7 x 45.1 cm (33 3/4 x 17 3/4 in.)
Fra Angelico (Italian, about 1400-1455), The Dormition and Assumption of the Virgin, 1424-1434. Tempera with oil glazes and gold on panel, 85.7 x 45.1 cm (33 3/4 x 17 3/4 in.)

Exhibition-Inspired Programs

Opening Celebration for Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth: Exclusive to Friends of Fenway Court Patrons

Enjoy an exclusive exhibition preview, special reception with the director and curatorial team, and performances that celebrate Fra Angelico's artwork.

Member Preview Day: Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth

Members and patrons see it first! Preview the exhibition Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth the day before it opens to the general public.

Member Opening Reception: Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth

Join us for an evening celebration of Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth with your fellow members.

Support for the Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth exhibition is provided in part by the Robert Lehman​ ​Foundation​, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives funding from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Media Sponsor: WBUR