Saints in Art – Saint Antoninus of Florence

detail of a stained glass window of Saint Antoninus of Florence, apse of Saint Dominic's Priory church, London, England; swiped with permission from the flickr account of Brother Lawrence Lew, OPArticle

Born about 1384. At the age of fifteen he presented himself for admission at the Dominican Convent at Fiesole, but he looked so small that the Prior told him to go away, and learn the Libro del Decreto by heart, and then to come again. To his surprise, Antoninus, who had indomitable perseverance, returned next year, and repeated the whole book. He was admitted, and after studying for a year at Cortona returned to Fiesole. Among his companions his great friend was Fra Giovanni, afterwards known as “II Beato,” or “Angelico,” the celebrated artist of Florence. When Fra Angelico was painting in Rome for the Pope he won great favour by his purity and wisdom, and on the death of the Archbishop of Florence he was offered the dignity. But he entreated the Pope to choose rather Fra Antoninus, who had done great service by his unworldliness and gentle but irresistible power. The Pope willingly did so, and Antoninus became the model of a wise prelate, greatly beloved by the people of Florence. He died thirteen years later, in 1459.

He is represented as an archbishop, and wears the Dominican habit. His portrait, by Fra Bartolomeo, is in San Marco, Florence.

MLA Citation

  • Margaret E Tabor. “Saint Antoninus of Florence”. The Saints in Art, with Their Attributes and Symbols, 1913. CatholicSaints.Info. 7 April 2019. Web. 29 July 2021. <>