Funny bios. Filippo Lippi, great artist and macho of the Renaissance

Funny bios. Filippo Lippi, great artist and macho of the Renaissance
Isabel del Rio

Funny bios. Fra Filippo Lippi, super artist and super macho of the ‘delicate’ Renaissance.

Filippo Lippi

Filippo Lippi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve always loved reading biographies, the more distant in time, more fictionalized… And I love novels!

Funny bios. Fra Filippo Lippi:

In the 16th century, Giorgio Vasari, the great pioneer of the history of art (and gossip), wrote that the painter Fra Filippo Lippi (1406-1469), despite being a Carmelite monk, was so sexually active like a lion (mmm!). Thus, there were periods in which he did nothing except to ‘fornicate’ with any female he met (how nice!).

Once, the great Cosimo de Medici (no jokes with him!) confined Fra Filippo Lippi in one of the rooms of his palace in Florence. The intention was to force Lippi to end a work that had already taken longer than necessary. However, Filippo Lippi, possessed of its excessive (and brutal) leonine passion, escaped through a window and (attention!!) once free, he spent days without food or drink or sleep, just venting his Latin passion to show what a genuine and delicate Quatrocentto artist could be… Fantastic!! Alexandre Dumas couldn’t have created a better macho than Giorgio Vasari, my favorite ‘historian’ of the Renaissance.

Madonna with Child and Angels by Fra Filippo Lippi

Do you know the awesome painting “Madonna with Child and two Angels” made by Fra Filippo Lippi in 1445? The model was a real beautiful novice of Santa Margherita in Prato, called Lucrecia Butti. In fact, she was kidnapped (hmmm) by Lippi after painting some works for the nuns of her convent. Maybe they spent some good days or maybe not. Anyway, they had a son (called Filippino and also a great artist) and afterwards, the poor Lucrecia was abandoned by our cruel macho… Do you believe all these facts? Neither do I. But I like biographies, especially when the author is an imaginative storyteller as Giorgio Vasari, a real bestseller never ever. Without Vasari, the Renaissance would be a boring time, full of boring artists and boring artwork.

Current academic manuals only say that Fra Filippo Lippi was a disciple of Masaccio and an antecedent of Botticelli (puaf!!)

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View Comments (2)
  • Bearing in mind that Vasari did not live long after his subjects, I’m inclined to believe a lot of what he says. You might like my later blog “” .

  • FABulously entertaining review – whether these escapades were totally factual or not – who is to say today? – and who cares? i personally, however, like to think that they were based on fact – that’s the lioness in me speaking…uh, roaring… 😉

    thanks for a great read, as always, isabel! loved this one –

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