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

Annunciation with two Kneeling Donors

c. 1440
Oil on panel, 155 x 144 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

The provenance of this panel has been connected to the Church of Sant'Egidio in Florence. At some point, the painting was probably cut down on the left side. On the basis of the hypothetical identification of the portrayed donors as Andrea and Lorenzo d'Ilarione de' Bardi, early scholars assumed that the picture could date to no earlier than 1452, and more likely to a bit later. Successive art historians have moved the painting to the early 1440's, comparing it to the Annunciation in Munich and recognizing in it the beginnings of Lippi's attachment to the style of Fra Angelico. The participation of Andrea del Castagno has also been suggested, with a date of around 1440. The portraits of the donors, more recently identified as Folco Portinari and Folgonaccio, were probably carried out with the help of an assistant.