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A Renaissance Masterpiece Revealed: Filippino Lippi's “Madonna and Child”

A Renaissance Masterpiece Revealed

Filippino Lippi's Madonna and Child

January 15–April 25, 2011

Filippino Lippi is one of the great artists of fifteenth-century Florence. Among his principal patrons was the wealthy banker Filippo Strozzi (1428–1491), who commissioned a Madonna and Child for his villa at Santuccio, west of the city. This painting was bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum by Jules Bache in 1949. In preparation for an exhibition on the artist that will be held in Rome next year, the picture was taken to conservation for examination this fall. A test cleaning revealed that beneath a thick, discolored varnish there was a beautifully preserved, richly colored painting. So striking is the transformation that the picture seems a new acquisition.

This exhibition celebrates the restoration with a focused presentation that includes the picture and a number of objects in the Museum's permanent collection that can be associated with the Strozzi by their coat of arms, which has three crescent moons. The objects include a textile, a wooden chair, a cassone, and a column capitalfrom the Palazzo Strozzi—the grandest of all fifteenth-century palaces in Florence.