Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian, Florentine, ca. 14061469)
Tempera and gold on wood, transferred from wood; Arched top, 48 1/4 x 24 3/4 in. (122.6 x 62.9 cm)
The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 (49.7.9)
The Virgin is shown holding a rose as the Bride of Christ, seated on the Throne of Wisdom, with, on the scroll held by an angel, a passage from Ecclesiasticus: "Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits." The picture is the center of an important triptych, the lateral panels of which (in the Accademia Albertina, Turin), depict saints standing within an enclosure. The triptych dates from the years around 1440, when Lippi was the most experimental painter in Italy. Particularly notable is his varied study of light and the active pose of the child. Among the saints of the lateral panels are Augustine and Ambrose and it is possible that the work was painted for an Augustinian foundation in the environs of Florence, where it was studied by Lippi's younger compatriot, Pesellino.