Fra Filippo Lippi.

Fra Filippo Lippi was born in 1406 in Florence, both of his parents died when he was a child. Filippo was put into the Carmelite monastery in Florence in 1421 by his aunt, who had taken over the care of the youngster but wanted him off her hands. He became yet another great Florentine painter and produced many memorable renaissance artworks.

It seems very likely that he was a pupil of Masaccio, he is recorded as a painter in 1430 a period when Masaccio was painting the Brancacci Chapel.

The next dated work is the Tarquinia Madonna of 1437.

In 1452 Filippo was appointed chaplain of a convent in Florence, and it is recorded that he lived in abject poverty. He began work on a series of frescoes for the choir of Prato Cathedral and also met Lucrezia Buti, a lady placed under the guardianship of the local nuns. Filippo asked permission to paint Lucrezia and the result was a romance that resulted in the birth of their son, Filippino, in 1457/58.

Filippino Lippi followed in his father's footsteps and also became a famous painter.

Self Portrait by Fra Filippo Lippi

Self portrait Spoleto Italy.(w)

Frescoes at Prato Cathedral

The structure of the frescoes at Prato Cathedral. (w)

The Tarquinia Madonna by Fra Filippo Lippi

The Tarquinia Madonna
Tempera on panel, 114x65 cm. (w)

Commissioned by Giovanni Vitelleschi, archbishop of Florence for his native city of Tarquinia, this painting is inspired by Masaccio with its large volumes.

The rather fat, and quite ugly, child also show a trend towards Donatello's work.

The frescoes of stories from St Stephen and St John the Baptist are considered to be among Fra Filippo Lippi's most important works. These two cycles of frescoes, painted on opposing walls at Prato Cathedral, are balanced. The birth of the saints face each other, the mid-range mirrors their life work and their deaths are shown at the bottom. Perhaps the most famous scene is the Feast of Herod, a gruesome story depicted as a Florentine dinner party with the guests witnessing a beautiful dancer who ultimately presents her master with a severed head!  

Feast of Herod by Fra Filippo Lippi

Feast of Herod c1452-1460. Prato Cathedral. (w)

 This fresco shows three episodes within the same painting. The beheading of John the Baptist, Salome entertaining the guests with her dancing, and Salome presenting the severed head to Herod.

Cathedral of Spoleto

Cathedral of Spoleto.(w)

Salome Dancing (detail) by Fra Filippo Lippi

Salome Dancing. detail
Prato Cathedral. (w)

Stories from St Stephen by Fra Filippo Lippi

Stories from St Stephen and St John the Baptist. Prato Cathedral. (W) c.1460. Fresco Duomo, Prato.
This is the funeral of St Stephen.

The Coronation of the Virgin by Fra Filippo Lippi

The Coronation of the Virgin (w)

The kneeling figure of a monk on the right is reputed to be a self-portrait of the artist. 
 The Coronation of the Virgin of 1441 was painted for S. Ambrogio and shows the Virgin surrounded by saints, angels and monks.

Annunciation by Fra Filippo Lippi

Duomo di Spoleto, Scenes of the Life of the Virgin (w)

This is just one of Fra Filippo Lippi's Annunciations, a theme that he was to paint several times. Note the perspective of the buildings and the path leading to the forest in the background.

Child in a Wood by Fra Filippo Lippi

Child in a Wood. (s)

Coronation of the Virgin by Fra Filippo Lippi

Coronation of the Virgin.
1467-1469. Cathedral of Spoleto (w)


Death of the Virgin by Fra Filippo Lippi

Death of the Virgin.
1467-1469. Cathedral of Spoleto (w)

 Home Page