Barbadori altarpiece


Barbadori altarpiece
(beg. 1437; Paris, Louvre)
   The Barbadori Altarpiece was executed by Fra Filippo Lippi for the Barbadori Chapel in the Church of Santo Spirito, Florence. The work relies on Masaccio's Holy Trinity at Santa Maria Novella, Florence, in its pyramidal composition and hierarchic placement of figures. In Lippi's painting, the Virgin and Child are elevated from the rest and isolated by the aedicula behind them. Below are two kneeling saints, Augustine and Fredianus, who complete the pyramid. As in the Holy Trinity, Lippi's scene unfolds in a believable Brunelleschian interior that is completely dependent on ancient architectural types. The figures' contrapposto, the definition of their forms through the use of chiaroscuro, and their solidity, all stem from Masaccio. Lippi's figures, however, are more aesthetically pleasing and his drapery folds more realistic and varied, these last learned from Donatello. A major innovation in Lippi's painting is the fact that his Madonna is standing, not seated, as she was traditionally rendered. Also, Lippi included himself in the work. He is the figure on the extreme left, dressed as a Carmelite monk and resting his chin on the parapet.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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