Monday, 8 October 2012

Filippo Lippi and Madonna with the Child and two Angels

'Madonna with the Child and two Angels' (1465) by Filippo Lippi; The Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Finally a post on an Italian painter again and none other than the wonderful Filippo Lippi, who was born c. 1406 and died on 8 October 1469. In Rome, I've seen his Annunciation which dates back to 1450 and is beautiful. It was such a shame that the room where the art work was on display, was so badly lit that you could not fully appreciate its splendor. Lippi was a 15th century painter of religious subjects, and when you read his biography (please click on his name above), you discover that he had quite an eventful life. After his parents died, he stayed with his aunt. When she couldn't take care of him anymore, he was brought up at a monastery (Santa Maria del Carmine in his birth town Florence). The frescoes in this monastery by Masaccio were probably Lippi's first contact with art. He took his religious vows at the age of sixteen but left the monastery when he was 26 years old. There are some interesting pieces of information about his life. He was supposedly abducted by Moorish pirates on the Adriatic Sea and was being held captive for 18 months. He was only released after having painted a portrait of his abductor. He had a scandalous affair with a nun, Lucrezia Buti, who bore him a child. Both were released from their vows and got permission from the Pope to marry.  He was known for his bad behaviour and probably there wasn't anybody more unfit to be a monk than Lippi. For further reading, please click here. I had not initially chosen Madonna with the Child and Two Angels for today because most of the time I find the Madonna beautiful and the angels and child a bit ugly. So I had chosen Madonna delle Roccie which is a detail of a larger painting but I couldn't find which one. I was unsuccesful finding date and location and then thought, maybe it's a detail of this painting because the Madonnas look very similar. But then, there's no child's hand resting on Madonna's shoulder in the detail. So I have no clue. I found both paintings together on this blog but there's no further enlightment here either, just a biography in French on the painter. If anybody knows, please leave a comment.

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