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Angel Academy of Art, Florence

Via Nardo di Cione, 10, Florence, Italy

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Angel Academy of Art

Dedicated to the Continuance of Classical and Realist Painting

The Angel Academy of Art, is a private institution that teaches drawing and painting in the old master tradition. While this tradition has its roots at least as early as 14th century Italy, the curriculum and the teaching techniques are grounded on those of the 19th century European academies and are the result of over 30 years of research and experiment by the school's founder, Michael John Angel. This successful, step-by-step process teaches the student to thoroughly appropriate the skills needed for representational painting.

M.J. Angel, born in England in 1946, has been painting and studying art since his mid-teens and has himself studied under the great Italian master, Pietro Annigoni. Through Annigoni, Mr. Angel was made aware of the lack of an effective method of teaching in the universities and public art schools. Even in Europe, where some vestiges of the old methods of cast drawing and still life remain, the official schools lack the knowledge to effectively teach Realism and frustrate the student by trying to apply various 20th century concepts to a pre-20th century discipline. At the Angel Academy, on the other hand, the principles involved in these disciplines are found to be concretely describable and, through a series of exercises over a four-year period, the student learns how to master them.


Anna Brookes, Director of Admissions and Administration.

Michael John Angel is the studio director, senior instructor and co-founder of the Angel Academy of Art, Florence.

Mr. Angel is regarded as one of the foremost classical painters in Europe and North America: his paintings and portraits hang in both public and private collections on both sides of the Atlantic. While he has few peers in portrait painting, where his commissions read like a Who's Who of corporate North America, Mr. Angel's real passion is painting myths and allegories. Currently, he has been concentrating on these, painting murals and altarpieces in a number of churches and villas in Italy, and in private residences in the United States.

Known to his students as "maestro," Mr Angel is considered one of the most inspiring and successful artists in classical and traditional art today.

Mr. Angel has taught workshops at the American Academy in Chicago, in addition to lecturing at the Florentine campuses of several American universities and various private schools in Canada. 1982-1989 Director of the National Portrait Academy in Toronto 1992-1995 the Assistant Director of the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. 1997 Co-founded Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy

90-minute documentary by Artatak Films of Toronto and Rainbow Films of Florence entitled Annigoni: Portrait of an Artist The Road to Castagno, profiles the work of Mr. Angel (viewed at Cannes Documentary festival and Montreal's 12th Festival International du Film sur l'Art).

Jered Woznicki, Senior instructor and the maestro's personal assistant, was born in Chicago. He studied at the American Academy of Art, from which he graduated in 1994. In Chicago, he worked with the noted painter Warren Prindle. Jered Woznicki's art has won various awards throughout the United States, as well as in Italy. In 1999 he took fourth place in the prestigious Florence Biennale, an international assembly of over 500 recognized artists. Mr. Woznicki's work is to be found in private and public collections in Europe and in North America. Although busy with teaching, he works with Mr. Angel on large scale commissions and on his own figure and still-life paintings.

Giulia Bucciarelli - Giulia Bucciarelli studied drawing and painting under local painters in Florence and took classes at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Florence and figure-drawing classes at the Scuola Libera del Nudo for three years, subsequently graduating from the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, where she is now teaching.

Ms Bucciarelli has exhibited her work in the exhibition LĂ­EreditĂ  di Annigoni, held at the Villa Bardini in 2010, and currently splits her time between teaching, private commissions and her own portrait and still-life paintings.

Brian Smyth - Brian Smyth is an award-winning graduate of the Crawford College of Art and Design. He has had several succesful solo exhibitions in Dublin and London and has participated in and curated many group exhibitions. He has completed many private commissions, including a 14-painting Stations of the Cross commission for a church restoration project in his native Co. Cork.

Brian has his works in many private and public collections and continues to develop his technique, to exhibit his paintings and to work on portrait commissions.

Brian began his studies in The Angel Academy in 2012 and has worked there as an instructor since 2013.

James Tucker - James Tucker was born in Sydney Australia. In 2003 he graduated from Computer Graphics College with an advanced diploma in 3D animation. In 2008 James began study at Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney, where he exhibited in several group exhibitions between 2008 and 2011. He was awarded the inaugural George Lambert prize for sculpture in 2008 and the Brett Whiteley scholarship in 2010. James began his studies at the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, in 2011 and graduated in 2013.

In 2014 he exhibited several works in the Students and Teachers Exhibition at Angel Academy of Art, Florence, and was a finalist in the Art Renewal Centre International Salon. He now teaches at the Angel Academy while continuing to paint and refine his technique in his studio. His works are in private collections in Canada, USA, Italy, Asia and Australia.

Nicole Lalande - Nicole Lalande is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design (BFA in Painting), where she began her studies in drawing and painting before studying at the Angel Academy of Art, Florence (3-year Diploma in Drawing and Painting). Ms Lalande has previously taught with a board of education in northern Canada, and also worked with government-funded art institutions, teaching drawing and painting.

When she is not teaching, Nicole spends her time working independently on commissioned work, and on developing work for future exhibitions.

Visiting Workshop Faculty

Martinho Isidro Correia - Martinho Isidro Correia is a fine artist and educator and is currently teaching spring/summer workshops in portrait painting and still life at the Angel Academy. A graduate of the University of Calgary (BFA in Painting), University of British Colombia in Vancouver (BEd in Art Education), Angel Academy of Art in Florence, Italy (Diploma in Drawing and Painting) and The European University/Pontifical Athenaeum, 'Regina Apostolorum' in Rome (Masters in Architecture, Sacred Art and Liturgy), Martinho splits his time between teaching, private commissions and gallery work. In January of 2013 he will begin teaching a course in Sacred Art at St. Mary's University College in Calgary, Canada.

In his studio, Martinho Correia is painting portrait and still-life commissions. Please visit his website for more examples of his work:

Ashish Kumar Patel - Ashish Kumar Patel was born in Bihar, India. In 2008, he graduated from Bharti Vidyapeeth College of Fine Arts with Distinction in Portrait Painting, and from 2008 to 2011 he exhibited and taught in several group exhibitions. He has also won The Oak Foundation Award for Best Drawing.

Ashish has studied at the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, and in 2014 he was one of the finalists in the prestigious Art Renewal Center's International Salon. His works are in private collections in the USA, Mumbai and New Delhi.

Davide Barbini - Davide Barbini studied painting and engraving at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, from which he graduated in 2012. His work is in many private collections and spans from landscape to portraiture. Currently, he is studying and teaching at the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, and his work is focusing more on the human figure.

Llewellyn Matthews - Llewellyn Matthews is a 2014 graduate of the Angel Academy of Art, and began teaching anatomy the same year. She studied figure drawing for two years in the Aristides Atelier (2010 and 2011). Prior to studying with Juliette Aristides, she studied figure and portrait for several years at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle Washington. During that time she took a number of anatomy courses with Matthew Buckner, himself a student of the late Robert Beverly Hale at the Art Students League of New York. During her final year at the Gage Academy, she served on the Board of Trustees.

Llewellyn Matthews has exhibited in Seattle Washington and has works in private collections in the United States and Italy. She divides her time between private commissions and her continuing interest in the figure and portrait.

The Programmes

The Fundamental Programme evolved from a combination of Mr. Angel's research and that of a number of students of the great American painter, R.H. Ives Gammell, whose pedigree, in turn, goes back to the French Academy. The programme begins with work from a specially prepared set of lithographs, which quickly teach the student the basic skills of accurate rendering (the Angel Academy of Art uses the best set of instructional drawings: that made by Charles Bargue in the 19th century, at the behest of Jean-Leon Gerome. The studio owns many of the originals). With these new-found skills, the student progresses to cast work, first in charcoal, then in oil paint, and from these to still life, the best arena in which to learn colour, texture and the illusion of three dimensions. Work from the live model begins immediately and is central to our programmes.

To acquire the utmost in accuracy and execution, the school uses the venerable 'sight-size' method. Beyond this, the Angel Academy of Art, teaches a system of comparative measurement in which the student learns to incorporate the conceptual with the realistic. This system is unique among modern-day Realist ateliers.

The Graduate Programme comprises two electives: Portrait Painting and Composition, (both Form and Colour). Work from the live model continues.

The Working Studio

Beyond the Graduate Programme is a Working Studio, based on Renaissance and Baroque principles and open to all our graduates. The student works on actual commissions, such as mural panels (figurative and decorative) and portraits (drapery and backgrounds). Angel Studios is unique in offering this on-the-job introduction to the realities of professional painting and the techniques involved in large-scale work. Every so often, the studio creates a show for New York or London.

The studio emphasizes the importance of professionalism for those who intend to pursue painting as a career. Contrary to popular belief, the profession of artist is a very real one; a properly trained painter can expect to earn a salary equivalent to that of a doctor or lawyer. Study with us should be seen as a career investment.

Only half our students are professional trainees, however. The rest are gifted amateurs with a genuine love of this fine old art and a determination to learn how to do it. We welcome them!

The completed curriculum will allow the graduate to confidently approach and overcome the most difficult projects in drawing and painting. Using the skills, techniques, knowledge, and approach that are taught at Angel Studios and the Angel Academy of Art, works of art of the highest possible quality are attainable.

A Final Word

The school's method is that of individual instruction in a group setting. That is, each student is evaluated on an on going basis and advances largely in accordance with the time and effort he or she can invest. Since the programme is a succession of carefully designed projects, a student's prior training and experience do not influence the assignments given; only the speed at which instruction is absorbed. In general, the atmosphere at the Angel Academy is relaxed and convivial. Competition is friendly, and there is an air of support and respect among both students and instructors: their goals are, after all, mutual. 


Please visit our website for a full colour presentation at:
and check out Part 1 of our You Tube lecture, The Academic Process (part 1). Here is the link:

We are also on You Tube with a Summer Workshop at: 17s

We also wish to invite you to have a look at our blog where all the latest news about the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, dedicated to the continuance of Classic Realist Painting, can now be found at:


To register for any of the above workshops please either reserve with our on-line submission Registration Form or download the form directly from our Website on the Workshops page and send it by e-mail to:

Please visit the website for a full color presentation at: and check out Part 1 of the You Tube lecture, The Academic Process (part 1).

The Maestro's Tour - Tour the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, with maestro Michael John Angel. Please click here.

To watch a video of comments from students and instructors about the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, please click here.

To watch the television programme RAI Campus Italia episode featuring the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, please click here.

We also wish to invite you to have a look at our blog where all the latest news about the Angel Academy of Art, Florence, dedicated to the continuance of Classic Realist Painting, can now be found:



John Angel recently wrote to Fred Ross, Chairman of the Art Renewal Center:

"What you have done (are doing) for this wonderful art of ours is beyond thanks. Sei forte! You are the best!

John Angel"

Contact email
Founded 1997
Course languages English
Instructors Jered Woznicki, James Tucker, Giulia Bucciarelli, Brian Smyth
Part-Time Instructors 7
Accommodation No

Full time: EUR 12000 / year

Angel Academy of Art, Florence

Via Nardo di Cione, 10

Florence, Italy

Male Nude by Michael John Angel

Kathy McNenly by Michael John Angel

Bean Slicer by Nancy Fletcher

Cast Painting by Janne Jaaskelainen

Vanessa Arana by Travis Seymour

Figure Drawing by Mark Stahmann

Houdon's Flayed Figure by Julie Tsang

The Artist's Assistant by Anthony Velasquez

Rod by Shane Wolf

La Bella Siciliana by Shane Wolf

Untitled by Rebecca Holden

Academic Nude by Shane Wolf

Untitled by Terra Chapman

Giuliano by Naomi Marino

Annigoni by Michael John Angel

Vanitas by Martinho Correia

St. Ditmas by Louis Smith

Abdu by Shane Wolf

Tobias by Mark Stahmann

Untitled by Kelly Borsheim

Untitled by Juan Pablo Ruiz Carpio

Still­Life with Oranges by Jered Woznicki

Chinese Proverbs by Inga Loyeva

Seeking Harmony by Dorian Iten

Dark Eyes by Andrea Mosley

Nestor by Francis O'Toole

25 September 2017 to 07 December 2017

Enrolment information for Academic Year 2017/2018 Fall Trimester

10 Via Nardo di Cione, Firenze, Toscana 50121

4000 EU

Angel Academy Fall 2017 Trimester: September 25 to December 7 2017

08 January 2018 to 23 March 2018

Enrolment information for Academic Year 2017/2018 Winter Trimester

10 Via Nardo di Cione, Firenze, Toscana 50121

4000 EU

Angel Academy Winter 2018 Trimester: January 8 to March 23 2018

09 April 2018 to 15 June 2018

Enrolment information for Academic Year 2017/2018 Spring Term

10 Via Nardo di Cione, Firenze, Toscana 50121

4000 EU

Angel Academy of Art Spring 2018 Trimester: April 9 to June 15 2018

18 June 2018 to 29 June 2018

Copying the 19th-Century French Nudes

10 Via Nardo di Cione, Firenze, Toscana 50121

In this 60 hour workshop, students will be introduced to the 19th-century French Academy method, which is used to describe the style of 'true to life'.

18 June 2018 to 29 June 2018

Methods of Contemporary Portrait Painters

10 Via Nardo di Cione, Firenze, Toscana 50121

The instructor, Martinho Correia, guides students through the steps he uses to create portraits and other figurative works.