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Fra Filippo Lippi

Fra Filippo  Lippi

(1406 - 1469)
Born: Florence, Italy
Style: Early Renaissance
Famous Works:
  • Coronation of the Virgin (1447)
  • Madonna and Child (1450)
  • The Feast of Herod: Salome's Dance (c. 1460-64)
Fra Lippi, a contemporary of Fra Angelico, was born in Florence and lost both of his parents at an early age. Under the charge of an aunt, Lippi was sent to the Carmine, where he joined the order of Carmelite friars, taking his vows at the age of sixteen. The life of a friar did not suit Lippi, and it as alleged that he would forego studying in favor of art, drawing in his books rather than reading them. As a young boy it is thought that he met Masaccio, while he was painting the Brancacci Chapel. Lippi's work with Masaccio's large shapes gave way to a Donatello inspired use of linear, relief-like figures. This sculptural approach gave his forms a plastic quality, his strong lines depicting depth almost independently of contour. His subjects are painted relaxed, warm and approachable, and show his observation from a model. In addition, Lippi preferred to paint the landscapes in his work from reality, obviously enjoying the beauty of the Arno valley. This shift from stiff depictions of traditional motifs was typical of the current of Humanism in fifteenth century Italy. Lippi's art was sensuous, real, and organic in feeling. Lippi's most famous student was Sandro Botticelli, who learned Lippi's elegant and whimsical use of line. Fra Lippi's son Filippino Lippi followed in his father's steps and became a painter.
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