LIPPI, Filippino
(b. ca. 1457, Prato, d. 1504, Firenze)

Tobias and the Angel

Oil and tempera on poplar panel, 33 x 24 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Several paintings have been assigned to Filippino's early career (1475–81), yet this period remains the most problematic to reconstruct. Not one painting is signed, dated or unquestionably connected to a patron, and each was once attributed to another painter. Included in the works that have been dated before 1482 are several small, devotional panels and narrative scenes, among them the Tobias and the Angel. These panels are influenced in various ways by aspects of the art of Fra Filippo, Botticelli and Verrocchio and reveal a burgeoning interest in the kind of landscape enriched with monasteries, castles, bridges, lakes and the activities of people and animals that is present in Filippino's later paintings.