Fra Filippo Lippi

Italy / 1406 - 1469 / wikipedia /
Also called Lippo Lippi or Fra Filippo Tommaso Lippi

Fra Filippo Lippi was an orphan brought up in a convent, who was persuaded by his elders to take vows. He then caused a scandal by running off with a nun. Happily, the Medici family had always observed his talent and bent their powerful muscles to get the couple laicised. Their child, Filippino Lippi (1457-1504), also became a highly successful painter. (

Fra' Filippo Lippi, O.Carm. (c. 1406 – 8 Oct. 1469); Italian painter of the Quattrocento (15th century).

Lippi was born in Florence around 1406 to Tommaso, a butcher, and his wife. Both his parents died when he was still a child. Mona Lapaccia, his aunt, being too poor to rear him, placed him at the age of 8 in the neighboring Carmelite convent, where he was educated. In 1420 he was admitted to the community of Carmelite friars of the Priory of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Florence, taking religious vows in the Order the following year, at the age of 16. He would have been ordained a priest sometime around 1425, and was to remain in residence in that priory until 1432. Vasari writes that Lippi was inspired to become a painter by watching Masaccio at work in the Carmine church, and his early work, notably the Tarquinia Madonna (Galleria Nazionale, Rome) shows his influence. In his Lives of the Artists, Vasari says: "Instead of studying, he spent all his time scrawling pictures on his own books and those of others." The prior decided to give him the opportunity to learn painting.

....That Lippi died in Spoleto, on or about the 8th of October 1469, is a fact; the mode of his death is a matter of dispute. It has been said that the pope granted Lippi a dispensation for marrying Lucrezia, but before the permission arrived, Lippi had been poisoned by the indignant relatives of either Lucrezia herself or some lady who had replaced her in the inconstant painter's affections.
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Karen Hines


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