Filippino Lippi

By: Danielle Lucey

About the Artist

Filippino Lippi was born around 1457 in Prato, Italy. He was the son of a famous painter and a nun. He was a Florentine painter, and spent most of his life in Florence until he died there on April 18, 1504. He was first trained in his early years by his father, who was also a successful painter. When his father died in 1469, his father's assistant kept teaching Filippino in the ways of art. He was also mentored by Sandro Botticelli, who had a great influence on his life. Filippino had a life very much centered around art. His father was a successful artist, so he was exposed to it at a very young age, and his art mentors changed the way that he looked at the world. His painting was mainly done in churches and chapels, so that is where he spent much of his time. Filippino Lippi created paintings, many of them frescos. He also used oil paints to do many of his works. Some of his works are Assumption of the Virgin, Tobias and the Angel, and the Annunciation. Filippino had many private patrons, but some of his more well-known patrons were Lorenzo de' Medici and Cardinal Oliviero Carafa.


Two Renaissance ideals closely linked to Filippino Lippi are illusionism and naturalism. Illusionism is closely linked because he mostly painted frescos, which are on plaster on sides of walls and buildings. With technique this can create an illusion that the painting is a part of the wall. Naturalism is also linked to him as well. He used oil paints very often, which is typical of naturalism, and was known to capture the real beauty in the paintings. He had many colors, vibrant and realistic, and always set a mood for his art. This all set a natural appearance, linking him to naturalism.
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Three Scenes from the Story of Virginia

This piece is called Three Scenes from the Story of Virginia. It was created around 1470-1480. You could see this price in the Musée du Louvre today where it has been preserved. This piece is significant because it is unique from most of Filippino Lippi's works. It is painted on a wedding chest rather than a plaster wall. The chest was wood, which takes different technique than the frescos that were common for Filippino.

My View on this Piece

Three Scenes from the Story of Virginia is a colorful, detailed piece with a sad story. People have many different expressions, surprised, angry, crying, and the emotion is a very powerful part of this piece. It is about the arrest, sentencing to slavery, and death of a person named Virginia. This is a sad thing , and you can sense this by looking at the people's faces in each scene. I find this piece interesting for a number of reasons. It interests me because of the color and detail, but I also find it enjoyable to look at. Because the work has three scenes, it tells a story, but even when you look closely at each scene, there is a lot going on. You do not get easily bored looking at this piece because there is always more to see.

Ism in this piece

Perspectivism is most closely linked to this piece because it shows depth, aerial perspective, and linear perspective. This piece shows depth by making bigger things with more detail seem closer, like how the people in the front of the picture appear closer than the mountains because they are bigger and closer to the bottom of the page. The same pieces meant too look closer will overlap things in the pack to make the art have depth. The people in the front of the picture do that with the mountains as well. You can specifically see the linear perspective in the arches. There is a visible vanishing point inside of the center arch. You can tell that there is linear perspective because the arches are meant to look the same size, even though one looks smaller in the picture, like they would in real life. The lines are pointing towards the vanishing point instead of straight across in some pieces without linear perspective. There is aerial perspective past the second arch. You can tell that these things back there are far away because they have a bluish tint to them, like the mountains. The building behind the arches does not have a tint, but it does lack color, which is a big change from before you see past the arches. All of these things make this piece closely linked to perspectivism.

Works Cited

Editors, “Filippino Lippi Biography.” The website. 3 Dec. 2015.

"Filippino Lippi." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. Gale, 1990. Biography in Context.

Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

“Multiple Collection Search.” Artstor. New York, NY.

Three Scenes from the History of Virginia . Fine Art. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 3 Dec 2015.