Fra Filippo Lippi
Teacher of Sandro Botticelli
Fra Filippo Lippi, orphaned as a child, entered the Carmelite convent at eight and began his education, taking his vows and becoming a Carmelite friar at sixteen. No documents exist to verify the particulars of Filippo’s artistic training although, as a newly ordained priest, he would have been able to watch Masolino and Masaccio execute their frescos on the walls of the Brancacci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine. Masaccio, recognized as the founder of Italian Renaissance painting, was a revolutionary artist, a master of perspective and the use of light and shadow, or chiaroscuro — innovations that certainly affected Lippi’s work. Gaining renown for his love affair with the nun Lucrezia Buti, Lippi is equally known and admired for his finely executed paintings, most often using the motif of Madonna and child.