LIPPI, Fra Filippo
(b. 1406, Firenze, d. 1469, Spoleto)

Madonna and Child with St Fredianus and St Augustine

1437-38
Panel, 208 x 244 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

The earliest of Lippi's altarpieces, the Barbadori Altarpiece, named for the family who commissioned it (for the Barbadori Chapel in Santo Spirito, Florence), demonstrates aspects of his art that can be regarded as characteristic. He disregards perspective, tending to clutter the space with inventive but nonstructural architecture, while at the same time showing little interest in rendering his figures and the objects that surround them to a consistent scale. For example, the Virgin and the Child are quite large in size, much larger than the two saints before them, while the angels are an intermediate size. Lippi reverses, as it were, the spatial order.

The predella is now in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. The altarpiece was commissioned in 1437 and finished in the following year.