Fra Angelico, considered to be one of the earliest Renaissance painters, decorated this monastery during his stay (1436–1445). Nearly all the work was painted by the friar or done by people under his supervision.
Among the incredible and groundbreaking paintings are the Altarpiece of San Marco, his massive Crucifixion (Crocifissione) in the Chapterhouse and his Annuciazione at the top of the stairs leading to the monk cells. All 20 cells feature his work, including Madonna delle Ombre on the wall between cells 25 and 26.
Also worth a peek is the spare, former cell of Savonarola, Florentine leader and super-pious monk who famously spoke out against greed and corruption within the clergy and the city’s “moral laxity,” peaking with his infamous Bonfire of the Vanities in 1497. His popularity quickly faded, however. He was executed in Piazza della Signoria in 1498.