birth proved embarrassing for his parents, Fra Filippo
and Sister Lucrezia Buti, who were both in holy orders, Filippino
certainly compensated for this by being a true infant prodigy. He assisted
his father from an early age and had only turned 12 when Filippo died.
Nevertheless, Filippino was able to complete the frescoes in the Spoleto
In 1472, he is mentioned in connection with Botticelli,
who influenced him greatly. His earliest panels are hardly distinguishable
from those of his great master. Around 1481, Filippino must already have
had a reputation in Florence as he was commissioned to complete the fresco
cycle in the Brancacci Chapel
Masaccio and Masolino
had left unfinished. By incorporating Flemish elements, which determined
the brilliance of his colors, the young painter reached the pinnacle of
his career over the next few years The Apparition
of the Virgin to St. Bernard (c.1486). In 1496, Lippi finished
his The Adoration of the Magi, which
were commissioned by the monks of San Donato a Scoreto as a substitution
for a painting on an identical
subject, left unfinished by Leonardo.
Thanks to Lorenzo the Magnificent's intervention, Filippino was called
to Rome in 1488, to paint the frescoes in the Carafa Chapel in Santa Maria
sopra Minerva. Back in Florence, the artist was one of the first to respond
to the crisis in art caused by the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent and
sermons. His painting became bizarre, fantastical and tend increasingly
to seem hallucinatory. Among his last works are The
Deposition from the Cross which was completed by Perugino.
Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary.
Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1999.
Drawings of Filippino Lippi and His Circle by George Goldner,
Alessandro Cecchi (Contributor). Harry N Abrams, 1997.
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