Filippino Lippi (1457-1504) is one of the great artists of 15th-century Florence. Among his principal patrons was the wealthy banker Filippo Strozzi (1428–1491), who in 1487 contracted the artist to decorate his funerary chapel in Santa Maria Novella with an outstanding cycle of frescoes. Around the same time, Strozzi also commissioned a Madonna and Child for his villa at Santuccio, west of the city. This work was acquired from the Duveen firm in 1928 by Jules Bache and was bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum in 1949.
To celebrate this restoration, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is mounting A Renaissance Masterpiece Revealed: Filippino Lippi’s Madonna and Child, a focused exhibition, beginning January 15, 2011, that will include 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 capital from the Palazzo Strozzi—the grandest of all 15th-century palaces in Florence. Filippo Strozzi belonged to one of the great patrician families of the city and played an important role there as an art patron. Although his father was exiled by the Medici in 1434, in 1466 Filippo was able to return to the city of his forebears, having made his fortune in the Strozzi bank in Naples. He set about rehabilitating the family’s prestige, in part by commissioning outstanding works of art such as Madonna and Child by Filippino Lippi.
The exhibition is organized by Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman of European Paintings. The painting was cleaned and restored by Associate Conservator Karen Thomas, overseen by Michael Gallagher, the Sherman Fairchild Conservator in Charge of Paintings Conservation.
Image: Filippino Lippi, Madonna and Child, Ca. 1485. Tempera, oil, and gold on wood, 32 x 23 1/2 in. (81.3 x 59.7 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Jules Bache Collection, 1949 49.7.10.
The exhibition will be featured on the Museum’s website at www.metmuseum.org
Category: Fine Art