Vintage Italian Postcards

Friday, November 17, 2006


The two lost paintings by the Renaissance artist Fra Angelico have been discovered hanging behind a door in a modest two bedroom terraced house in Oxford. The paintings of the Dominican saints, which are expected to fetch a combined total of more then 1£ million at auction, belonged to a 77 year-old spinster who died earlier this year.The discovery, hailed as one of the most exciting for a generation, has solved a 200-year-old mystery. Angelico was commissioned by Cosimo De Medici to create an altarpiece in the 1430s. He painted eight panels for the high altar at the Church and Convent of San Marco in Florence. However during the Napoleonic wars nearly 400 years later, the French split up the altar and the pieces were spread around the world.Over the years six of the works were identified in collections, but the whereabouts of the other two have remained a mystery until their discovery this year at the Oxford home of Jean Preston. Miss Preston’s father, Kerrison Preston, bought the paintings in America in the 1960s and gave them to his daughter when he died in 1974. At that time a probate value of £400 was placed on them. For the last 10 years, the paintings, measuring 15 inches by five inches, have hung behind the door of Miss Preston’s spare bedroom. She had no idea of their significance until shortly before her death in July, when a friend Michael Liversidge, former head of history art at Bristol University, was shown them and researched them.

One of the most important painting of Fra Angelico, called Polittico Guidalotti of 1448, was done at the height of his career and is now on display in the GALLERIA NAZIONALE DELL’UMBRIA, in Perugia, Corso Vannucci.
This painting was commissioned by the Guidalotti family for their own chapel in San Domenico Church.
Come to Umbria to discover the wonderful works of Fra Angelico and other Renaissance painters like Raffaello, Michelangelo, Perugino and Pinturicchio….
The staff of La Preghiera, Calzolaro, , can provide accommodation in Umbria and guided tours to discover the beautiful green hearth of Italy! Additionally, at La Preghiera Luxury Country House you can stay in our Fra Angelico bedroom….!!!
Info at: – 0039 075 9302428