Fra Angelico was an Early Italian Renaissance painter described by Vasari in his Lives of the Artists as having "a rare and perfect talent".
He was known to contemporaries as Fra Giovanni da Fiesole and Fra Giovanni Angelico. In modern Italian he is called il Beato Angelico; the common English name Fra Angelico means the "Angelic friar".
In 1982, Pope John Paul II proclaimed his beatification in recognition of the holiness of his life, thereby making the title of "Blessed" official. Fiesole is sometimes misinterpreted as being part of his formal name, but it was merely the name of the town where he took his vows as a Dominican friar, and was used by contemporaries to separate him from others who were also known as Fra Giovanni. He is listed in the Roman Martyrology as Beatus Ioannes Faesulanus, cognomento Angelicus—"Blessed Giovanni of Fiesole, surnamed 'the Angelic' ".
Vasari wrote of Fra Angelico that "it is impossible to bestow too much praise on this holy father, who was so humble and modest in all that he did and said and whose pictures were painted with such facility and piety."