Fra Filippo Lippi

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The portrait has come to be one of the most popular and most enduring genres of painting. Historically, portrait paintings have been created for the rich and powerful and represent the culture and status quo of the painted. Fra Filippo Lippi’s Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement and Jacques Louis David’s Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and His Wife are no exceptions. Fra Filippo Lippi’s portrait painting is the earliest surviving double portrait from the Italian Renaissance and Jacques Louis David’s portrait painting is a quintessential example of Neoclassical portraiture. Through an examination of the cultural and historical influences and the artists use of line, color, and space/form I will explore the similarities and differences between…show more content…
Lippi was placed in a Carmelite convent where he was educated and entered the community. It was during his that Vissari notes that Lippi was inspired to paint while watching Masaccio work in a nearby convent. He moved to Florence in the late 1430s and was supported by the Medici family who most likely introduced him to the commissioner of the Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement which was painted at the same time as one of his most famous works, the Annuciation. Lippi’s Portrait of a Woman with a Man at a Casement has been the center of debate since it was discovered. There are numerous art historians offering different interpretation of the painting. Ken Christiansen notes “It is the first surviving portrait with an interior setting, the first Italian portrait with a landscape, and the first double portrait in Italian art.” (cite). The most common opinion art historians share is that the expensive and luxurious clothing and jewelry are indicative that this was commissioned to commemorate the wedding or engagement of the two. Joseph Breck believes the man is of the Scolari family based on the coat of arms under the mans hand that was identified over a century ago by scholars. Dieter Jansen offer another opinion believing that because of the subordinate placement of the man it is a “declaration of allegiance of the military captain Giacomo Ferraro d’Ormea to Yolande, Duchess of Savoy, who was of a superior rank” (cite). One final opinion shared by art historians is that is commemorates the birth of a child, however the clothing of the man and woman suggest otherwise. Many art historians believe that Lippi may have been influence by Netherlandish painters of the time. Paula Nuttall discusses in her book “numerous elements of Northern elements at work, including the attention to textures of jewels and textiles, and the fashionable Flemish style headdress.” (cite). Jean Sorabella discusses the

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