LIPPI, Fra Filippo
(b. 1406, Firenze, d. 1469, Spoleto)
Madonna in the Forestc. 1460
Oil on panel, 127 x 116 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin
This painting was made for the chapel of the Medici (later Medici-Riccardi) which decorated by Benozzo Gozzoli. It does not just depict the Adoration of the Child, it also shows the Holy Trinity. God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Christ are united on the painting and represent the conception of the Holy Trinity held by the Western Church: the Holy Spirit emanates from the Father and Son. This contrasts with the view held by the Orthodox Church, in which the Holy Spirit emanates from God the Father alone. The picture reflects the debate on general principles that took place between the Orthodox and Western Churches at the Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1439.