Madonna with the Baby and the Saints Jeronim and Dominic, Philippine Lippi

Madonna with the Baby and the Saints Jeronim and Dominic, Philippine Lippi
Madonna with the Baby and the Saints Jeronim and Dominic, Philippine Lippi - 1

  • Posted by Filippino Lippi
  • Museum: National Gallery (London)
  • Year: Around 1485

Overview of the painting :

Madonna with the Baby and the Saints Jeronim and Dominic – Filippino Lippi. Around 1485. Wood, butter. 203.2×186.1
   Filippino Lippi (about 1457-1504) is an Italian Renaissance painter, master of the Florentine school, student Sandro Botticelli, and some researchers consider his talent more powerful.

   This altar was written for the burial chapel of the Ruchellai family in the new church of San Pancrazio in Florence, owned by Wallombrosians, reformed Benedictine monks.

   The Virgin Mary, who feeds the Infant of Christ, is represented in the most ancient iconographic type “Virgo Lactans” (from the Latin – “The Virgin Kormy”). The image was an expression of the cult, which was distributed in the 16th century. in Italy (almost all churches claimed that it was they who kept the holy relic – the milk of the Virgin Mary).

   St. Jerome, as a translator of the Bible, personifies theological scholarship; living in the desert and indulging in repentance, he is depicted as a hermit. St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order, is dressed in his clothes – a white tunic and a shoulder pad under a long black cloak with a hood. He holds lily (a sign of chastity) and a book (Gospel).

   Details, at first glance seeming subtle and secondary, are of important symbolic importance. They make up some scenery for the images of the main characters. So, in the background behind the Virgin Mary with the Baby, far on the hillside, a figure on the donkey is depicted – this is certainly the husband of Mary, St. Joseph. St. Jerome is shown against the background of the cave, the entrance to which the lion guards, its traditional attribute (according to legend, the saint healed the beast, taking the splinter out of his paw, and thereby tamed it). On the right, behind St. Dominic, the building of the almshouse is depicted in the long run – a hint of his merciful activity.

   All the many and varied components that are important for the altar image are united by the artist into a single harmonious whole, which makes this creation a masterpiece of Italian art of the 15th century.