LIPPI, Fra Filippo
(b. 1406, Firenze, d. 1469, Spoleto)
Madonna and Child Enthroned with Two Angelsc. 1437
Tempera and gold on wood transferred from wood; arched top: 123 x 63 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
This early work by Filippo Lippi is the centre panel of a triptych, the wings of which are in the Accademia Albertina in Turin. Although made of three separate panels, the triptych was unified by a continuous wall and uniform lighting. The figures and the elaborate marble throne have a massive quality deriving from the artist's study of the frescoes of Masaccio in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, where Lippi was a monk. The rose held by the Virgin symbolizes her purity. The book held by the infant Christ is inscribed with a passage from the book of Ecclesiastes 24:19.