Born in England in 1946, Michael John Angel emigrated to Canada in 1961 and since then has divided his time between Canada and Italy. In the late 1960s, he studied in Florence with the renowned Pietro Annigoni, who introduced him to the techniques of the old masters.
Mr. Angel is now regarded as one of the foremost traditional painters in North America, and 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.
Since the 1980s, 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. Mr. Angel is the director of two major schools which are dedicated to the continuance of Classical and Realist painting. Both the Toronto school and the Florence school are listed on the Art Renewal Center’s Recommended Ateliers. He 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 the Toronto area.
From 1982 to 1989 he was the Director of the National Portrait Academy in Toronto, and from 1992 - 1995 the Assistant Director of the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. In 1995, Angel established his first school in Florence – the Angel Academy of Art – dedicated not only to passing on his love for classical and traditional art but also to instill the disciplines that lead to successful mastery of the necessary techniques.
In 1997 he opened Michael John Angel Studios in Toronto, which has the distinction of being the only instructional studio of its kind in Canada. Mr. Angel has been interviewed on television and radio many times. He plays a prominent role in a 90-minute documentary by Artatak Films of Toronto and Rainbow Films of Florence entitled Annigoni: Portrait of an Artist. Another documentary, The Road to Castagno, profiles the work of Mr. Angel. It has been shown on national television and has also been viewed at several film festivals, including the Cannes Documentary and Montreal’s 12th Festival International du Film sur l’Art.