Christina Grace Mastrangelo was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1983, and grew up in Western Massachusetts. Always fascinated by figurative painting, her passion first ignited during a visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum, and was further cultivated in her adolescent years amidst travels to Paris and Rome. She was stunned by the artwork at the Louvre, Vatican Museum, and amongst the ruins of Pompeii. After high school she moved to Virginia to attend James Madison University’s Honors Program. While pursuing her degree in Studio Art, Christina studied abroad in Florence, taking classes in Humanism, Italian, and Art History. Immediately following graduation she returned to Florence to attend the Angel Academy of Art, one of few ateliers at the time teaching traditional methods. After three years of training she graduated from the Fundamental Program in 2009 and returned to the U.S. where she began pursuing her painting career. 

 Florence seriously molded Christina’s artistic vision; there she learned the traditional processes of working from life, studied and mastered materials, explored art history from the artist’s perspective, and pursued realistic painting and drawing of subjects that ranged from portraits and figures to still lifes. Her style is called Classical Realism: her work represents nature realistically, often idealized to achieve order, harmony, completeness, and ultimately, beauty. Because of her studies at the Angel Academy, Christina traces her artistic lineage directly from Michael John Angel to Pietro Annigoni, Nerina and Fidadelfo Simi, (of Florence) to Jean Leon Gerome, Paul Delaroche, and Jacques Louis David (of the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris). Christina uses traditional methods of layering oil paint and meticulous handling of charcoal to yield realistic work. Her dramatically lit still lifes and the carefully arranged subjects in her figure and portrait works are both time-honored yet contemporary, bridging the gap between her European studies and her life in the US. 

 In 2015, the Art Renewal Center’s (ARC) International Salon selected Christina’s triptych “Know Not Thy Pending Fate” for the Knohl Award, granted for work inspired by literature and history. The European Museum of Modern Art in Barcelona and the Salmagundi Club in New York City exhibited the triptych as part of the ARC’s first live Salon. Christina has shown her work at the Villa Bardini in Florence, and had two solo shows in Florence as well as one at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Art in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her other most recent awards were from the Portrait Society of America, Oil Painter’s of America, and the Salmagundi Club. She is a member of the Hudson River Fellowship, and her artwork is currently represented at the Guild of Boston Artists in Boston, Massachusetts, and Williams Fine Art Dealers in Wenham, Massachusetts. 

 Christina also teaches painting and drawing. She began teaching in Italy, running La Scuolina, a small Italian language drawing school with a few of her Angel Academy peers. She continues to teach at the Academy of Realist Art in Boston, the Florence Studio in Italy, and the Wethersfield Academy for the Arts in Connecticut during the summers and has started a Patreon page for those interested in learning about classical realism from the comfort of their own home.

Christina spends her time painting and traveling between Jacksonville, Florida, and Wilbraham, Massachusetts, with her husband, artist Nicholas McNally.

For the latest news and events, follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 


I try to simply and honestly illuminate the beauty I see in nature. My goal is to call attention to sublimity worthy of pause and reflection. 

 As a Classical Realist, my work’s aim is to represent nature in a realistic style, observing a preference for order, harmony, completeness, and ultimately, beauty. I often choose to not have the material dominate the vision, using the utmost care to create soft, barely visible brushstrokes on the smoothest of linen, and taking time to slowly render my subjects, whether in oil paint or charcoal. I also don’t concentrate on the details of my subjects, consciously simplifying while staying true to what I see. In this way I hope for the viewer to connect with the subject first and the materials second, and for the viewer to notice not the details that make the subject beautiful, but rather the subject’s beauty as a whole. 

 I search for truth in studying the human figure, and over the past few years I have begun to connect the visual truths of anatomy, likeness, color, and form to the underlying themes we all deal with; our daily surroundings, spirituality, nature, connection, our reason for being, and the narrative between life and death. Aside from my environment and experiences, my visual inspiration comes from the simple compositions of the Renaissance, the movement of the Baroque period, and the accuracy of the 19th century European naturalists. 

 My latest works, including “Know Not Thy Pending Fate”, are visual contemplations on isolation, judgment, hope, sympathy, and connection. I make these paintings to clarify my experiences and simplify universal themes into one image so that others may ponder both beauty and strife at the same time.   


All of the still-life paintings Christina does are painted from life; no photographs are used. For more about this method, see her still-life painting course description under the "Classes and Workshops" page.  

A Glimpse into the Life of the Artist 

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