WorldArts

Art is immortal

Welcome Dear Customer!

Facebook
RSS

Fra Filippo Lippi

Jun - 25 - 2013
admin
Selfportrait of Fra' Filippo Lippi

Selfportrait of Fra’ Filippo Lippi

Filippo Lippi (1406-1469) was born into a very large and poor family in Florence. Both his parents died when he was still a child. Mona Lapaccia, his aunt, took charge of the boy. In 1420 he was registered in the community of the Carmelite friars of the Carmine in Florence, where remained until 1432, taking the Carmelite vows in 1421 when he was sixteen. He would have been ordained a priest sometime around 1425, and was to remain in residence in that priory until 1432.[1] In his Lives of the Artists, Vasari says: “Instead of studying, he spent all his time scrawling pictures on his own books and those of others.” The prior decided to give him the opportunity to learn painting.
Eventually Fra Filippo quit the monastery, but it appears he was not released from his vows; in a letter dated 1439 he describes himself as the poorest friar of Florence, charged with the maintenance of six marriageable nieces. In 1452 he was appointed chaplain to the convent of S. Giovannino in Florence, and in 1457 rector (Rettore Commendatario) of S. Quirico in Legania, and made occasional, considerable profits; but his poverty seems chronic, his money being spent, according to one account, in frequent amours. Vasari relates some romantic adventures of Fra Filippo that modern biographers are not inclined to believe. Except through Vasari, nothing is known of his visits to Ancona and Naples, nor of his capture by Barbary pirates and enslavement in Barbary, where his skill in portrait-sketching helped to release him. From 1431 to 1437 his career is not accounted for.

Barbadori Altarpiece

Barbadori Altarpiece (1438). Louvre Museum.

In June 1456 Fra Filippo is recorded as living in Prato (near Florence) to paint frescoes in the choir of the cathedral. In 1458, while engaged in this work, he set about painting a picture for the monastery chapel of S. Margherita in that city, where he met Lucrezia Buti, the beautiful daughter of a Florentine named Francesco Buti; she was either a novice of the Order or a young lady placed under the nuns’ guardianship. Lippi asked that she might be permitted to sit for the figure of the Madonna (or perhaps S. Margherita). Under that pretext, Lippi engaged in sexual relations with her, abducted her to his own house, and kept her there despite the nuns’ efforts to reclaim her. The result was their son Filippino Lippi, who became a painter no less famous than his father. Such is Vasari’s narrative, published less than a century after the alleged events.
The close of Lippi’s life was spent at Spoleto, where he had been commissioned to paint, for the apse of the cathedral, scenes from the life of the Virgin. In the semidome of the apse is Christ crowning the Madonna, with angels, sibyls and prophets. This series, which is not wholly equal to the one at Prato, was completed by Fra Diamante after Lippi’s death. That Lippi died in Spoleto, on or about the 8th of October 1469, is a fact; the mode of his death is a matter of dispute. It has been said that the pope granted Lippi a dispensation for marrying Lucrezia, but before the permission arrived, Lippi had been poisoned by the indignant relatives of either Lucrezia herself or some lady who had replaced her in the inconstant painter’s affections. This is now generally regarded as a fable, and indeed, a vendetta upon a man aged sixty-three for a seduction committed at the age of fifty-two seems hardly plausible. Fra Filippo lies buried in Spoleto, with a monument erected to him by Lorenzo the Magnificent; he had always been zealously patronized by the Medici family, beginning with Cosimo de Medici. Francesco di Pesello (called Pesellino) and Sandro Botticelli were among his most distinguished pupils.
The altarpiece Lippi painted in 1441 for the nuns of S. Ambrogio is now a prominent attraction in the Academy of Florence, and was celebrated in Browning’s well-known poem. It represents the coronation of the Virgin among angels and saints, including many Bernardine monks. One of these, placed to the right, is a half-length portrait of Lippo, pointed out by the inscription perfecit opus upon an angel’s scroll. The price paid for this work in 1447 was 1200 Florentine lire, which seems surprisingly large.
For Germiniano Inghirami of Prato he painted the Death of St. Bernard. His principal altarpiece in this city is a Nativity in the refectory of S. Domenico — the Infant on the ground adored by the Virgin and Joseph, between Saints George and Dominic, in a rocky landscape, with the shepherds playing and six angels in the sky. In the Uffizi is a fine Virgin adoring the infant Christ, who is held by two angels; in the National Gallery, London, a Vision of St Bernard. The picture of the Virgin and Infant with an Angel, in this same gallery, also ascribed to Lippi, is disputable.
In 1467 Lippi, his son Filippino, and Fra Diamante left for Spoleto, where Lippi had received a commission for another vast undertaking: the decorations and frescoes of the choir of the cathedral, which included the Nativity, the Annunciation, the Death of Mary, and—in the centre of the vault of the apse—the Coronation. These frescoes were Lippi’s final work; they were interrupted by his death, for which there are two documented dates—in the monks’ necrology of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence and in the archives of Spoleto. Later the Medici had a splendid sepulchre, designed by Lippi’s son, erected for him (1490) in the cathedral of Spoleto.
Resources on the Web:
The extensive English-language articles on Wikipedia
Filippo Lippi-Life and works
Fra Filippo Lippi-Biography and works


Hermitage History.pa

Previous article: Hermitage History – Part 9. In the XVII century none of ...

Arsen Pochkhua-Georg

Arsen Pochkhua was born in 1923 in Kutaisi. In 1944-49 he ...

Théodore Géricault

Géricault(Born: twenty six Sept 1791; Rouen, Normandy, France-Died: twenty six ...

Ivan Aivazovsky

Hovhannes Aivazian was born on July seventeen, 1817 within the ...

Franz Marc

Videotutorial El sueño Franz Marc Born on February 8, 1880. Munich, Bavaria, ...

Sponsors

  • World Arts
  • Macro Photography
  • 500px
  • Vakhtang Janjgava