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Madonna and Child
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Madonna and Child

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This tender devotional image of the Madonna and Child before a gold curtain functioning as a cloth of honor retains its original frame in the shape a window frame in a newly stylish format that looked back to classical antiquity for its vocabulary. Lippi here exploits the window analogy by depicting the Madonna's halo cut off by the window frame and by the Christ Child standing on the window sill so the figures are at once very close to us but kept at a defined distance. Inscribed along the frame's base in Latin are the words spoken to Mary by the Archangel Gabriel: "Hail Mary full of grace. The Lord is with thee." The star on the Virgin's blue robe alludes to the "Stella Maris," or "Star of the Sea," a popular prayer dedicated to her. Filippo Lippi was a Carmelite friar and one of the leading painters of 15th-century Florence. Famous for his innovative naturalism, Lippi here employs a more traditional style with an abundant use of gold that recalls devotional paintings from the early 15th century. The extensive use of gold was probably requested by a patron with more conservative tastes.
Date Description Narrative
Examinationexamined for condition
4/02/1942Treatmentcoated; examined for exhibition; inpainted; lined; other; varnish removed or reduced
  • 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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ca. 1446-1447 (Renaissance)
tempera and gold leaf on wood panel
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H with frame: 50 x W: 34 1/4 x D: 1 1/8 in. (127 x 87 x 2.8 cm); Painted surface H: 29 3/4 x W: 20 9/16 in. (75.5 x 52.3 cm); Panel H: 45 9/16 x W: 28 7/8 in. (115.7 x 73.4 cm)

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