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Madonna with Child

by Filippo Lippi

The Madonna with Child, painted around the 1460s by Filippo Lippi, is one of the most acclaimed works of art displayed in Palazzo Medici Riccardi.
The painting’s traces were lost for a long time; it was finally retrieved in 1907, at the Ospedale di San Salvi in Florence, and transferred the following year to Palazzo Medici Riccardi based on an alleged Medici provenance. This hypothesis was confirmed by the fact that the painting was originally in Castel Pulci, a mansion owned by the Riccardi, the family who had acquired the palace that previously belonged to the Medici. Depicting the Holy Virgin tenderly leaning close to the cheek of the Child, the painting draws on a composition typical of the Florentine Renaissance that Lippi renders with grace and naturalness. This work was highly praised and even copied because of its exquisite light effects and elegant contour lines. The rear of the board shows the preparatory sketch of a male head.