Description This tender devotional image of the Madonna and Child before a golden curtain still has its original frame, the classical shapes of which demonstrate the Renaissance fascination with antiquity. The frame looks like an architectural opening that has cut off the top of the Virgin's halo. Inscribed along its base in Latin are the words spoken to Mary by the archangel Gabriel, which were also a popular prayer: "Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with thee." The star on the Virgin's blue robe alludes to her epithet of Stella maris, the Star of the Sea. Filippo Lippi, a Carmelite friar, was one of the leading painters of 15th-century Florence. He was famous for his innovative naturalism and had many pupils, the most important of whom was Sandro Botticelli (1444/45-1510). For more information on this painting, please see Zeri catalogue number 44, pp. 73-74.
- Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
Provenance Marquess Filippo Marignoli, Rome and Spoleto, until 1898 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Marquess Francesco Marignoli, 1898 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome, 1899 [mode of acquisition unknown] [1900 catalogue supplement: no. 31]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions Inscribed on original wood frame: AVE GRATIA PLENA DOMINVS TECVM; [Translation] Hail Mary full of grace our lord is with thee.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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