Artist: Filippino Lippi (Italian, Prato ca. 1457–1504 Florence)
Date: ca. 1483–84
Medium: Tempera, oil, and gold on wood
Dimensions: 32 x 23 1/2 in. (81.3 x 59.7 cm)
Credit Line: The Jules Bache Collection, 1949
Accession Number: 49.7.10
This exquisite Madonna and Child was painted about 1483–84 for the wealthy Florentine banker Filippo Strozzi. Through an arcade decorated with his armorial emblems (three crescents) is a landscape that was probably intended to suggest the countryside around the Strozzi villa near Florence, where the picture probably hung in a private oratory. Like many wealthy men, Filippo Strozzi valued material display and insisted that his paintings employ the finest ultramarine blue—as here.
About 1490 the duke of Milan's agent in Florence commented that Filippino's paintings were sweeter—più dolci—than those of Botticelli, Filippino's master.