Hi everyone! This week I wanted to talk about an artist, who I’ve previously talked about, whose work I saw in Italy. This man is Fra Filippo Lippi. In Florence, I was able to see a variety of his artworks that were so amazing to see in person after having studied them. One of the paintings that I saw was the Madonna and Child with Two Angels created around 1460 to 1465.
Many scholars and lovers of art believe that this is probably one of his best paintings because of the immense detail within the work. For one, the figures are placed before a background, and they are separated by a frame that divides them from the background; so they are two different components in the painting, placed within one.
The painting is focusing on Mary with Christ. Here Mary appears to be in prayer, and she is sitting on a elaborate chair, which we only see one arm of. Christ is being held by up two angels. He appears to be going towards his mother, as though he wants her to pick him up. One of the angels is behind Christ and hard to see, and the other angel is in front, engaging with the viewer. He is specifically smirking at the viewer, which adds a cute element to the painting; it breaks the barrier between the painting and the viewers. Therefore, this painting as a background that is interrogated into the painting, but separate from the figures. Then the figures are before the background, so they are in their own space. And then, Lippi drags the viewer in through the angel that looks directly at the viewer. In general, Lippi is creating multiple layers to this one painting.
Additionally, the background of is work is a beautiful landscape; however, it is unclear what the landscape specifically representing.
Overall, I think what makes this painting extremely amazing is the composition. Everything is so ideal, and Lippi creates this in a soft composition that fits with the divinity of the figures. I particularly love this painting because, for me, it evokes feelings and emotions because of its beauty. The figures are all so beautiful, light, simple, and elegant all at the same time. I also experienced these feelings more when I was in front of the work, and it made me realize the significance of experiencing art. It’s very different to learn about artworks, and knowing all the factual information, dates, etc. However, when viewing an artwork right in front of you, you get to understand the reasons behind the color, the subject matter, the style, just the painting as a whole. In essence, you experience what the artist wants you to experience, and this can be seen with an artworks made through time.
Additionally, when I was at the Uffizi Gallery looking at this painting, the composition of this work was so lifelike that I actually felt like these religious figures were in front of me, and I was looking at a window into this setting; the lifelike quality of this painting is astonishing.
FUN FACT: If you look closely at the painting, on the left top corner, you can see that the wood is curving in. My professor told me that after many years, wood panels begin to bend