I have been really fortunate. I have been to Florence several times and stood in front of this painting – for a long time – twice. It is like meditating as you look at its perfection.
This is fine example of renaissance art, when Western artists began to paint in a much more humanist way.
Speaking of all this, check this out – look at ancient Greek sculpture like the Venus de Milo – then look at a sculpture from medieval times, like Virgin and Child and then a renaissance piece like the David. Why do the Greek and renaissance styles look like they belong together and the stuff from the middle seems so different? It’s because of culture – during medieval times, artists focused on the glory of God rather than human wonderfulness. But in the renaissance, artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo actually broke the law and went into ruins in Rome and saw the humanist work from ancient times – that was just lying in the middle of the city but shunned by the religious folks of the time – and pulled that humanism forward more than 1000 years.
But back to Lippi
The cool thing I think about this painting is that the model was Lippi’s mistress and the baby was their child. Whoa!
Lippi’s Madonna and Child with Two Angels – Zoom in on this and be amazed. I even love the painted frame.