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Virgin Adoring the Christ Child with the Infant St. John and Three Angels

The brilliant colors and decorative line in this painting reflect the style developed by Fra Filippo Lippi, one of the leading painters of fifteenth-century Florence. This work is modeled on Lippi’s Madonna Adoring the Christ Child, which was commissioned by the Medici family for the chapel of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi around 1459. Lippi’s composition evokes a Nativity scene, but excludes many typical iconographical details (such as Joseph, the shepherds, and the stable), adds the figure of St. John the Baptist as a child at the left, and places the scene in a wooded landscape. The popularity of Lippi’s painting inspired the production of numerous copies, many of which were created by an artist or a workshop known as the Lippi-Pesellino Follower. This version—which deviates from Lippi’s original in many of its details—was likely produced for a wealthy patron, as the abundance of gold leaf suggests.

Follower of Fra Filippo Lippi and Pesellino
Italian (Florentine), active 1475–1500
Virgin Adoring the Christ Child with the Infant St. John and Three Angels
ca. 1475–1500
Tempera and gilding on panel
37 ¼ x 32 5/8 in. (94.0 x 81.3 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Given in memory of Marguerite Lilly Noyes by Thomas T. Solley, 74.19.1