The Adoration in the Forest

Filippo Lippi1459

Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Berlin, Germany

This Adoration comes from the most distinguished place imaginable: the private chapel in the Palazzo Medici-Ricardi, to which Benozzo Gozzoli's famous fresco of the 'Medici Family as the Magi' led (and still 'in situ'). Lippi created this adoration in about 1459. Variations (Florence, Uffizi) were painted after 1453 and, again for the Medici, around 1463. This completely unusual scenario in the depths of a dense forest and the lavish details conceal at first how poorly the perspective has been handled and the antiquated treatment of the cracks in the rocks. The unusual iconography has scarcely anything in common with traditionally narrated pictures of Christ's birth. The boy John, looking thoughtfully out of the picture, and Bernard of Clairvaux at prayer, prototypes of the repentance-preacher and the hermit, emphasize the meditative atmosphere.


  • Title: The Adoration in the Forest
  • Creator: Filippo Lippi
  • Date Created: 1459
  • Physical Dimensions: w118.5 x h129.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Medium: Oil on poplar wood
  • Style: Italian
  • Copyright Text: Text: © http://www.prestel.com, Prestel Verlag / Matthias Weniger Audio: © Tonwelt / Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz // Photo: © http://www.bpk-images.de, b p k - Photo Agency / Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jörg P. Anders
  • Collection: Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Artist information: Fra Filippo Lippi was an Italian painter of the 15th century in Italy, a period known as the Quattrocento. He entered a friary in Florence at the age of 14, where he had the opportunity to learn painting. In 1452 he became the chaplain of the monastery San Giovannio and five years later the rector of San Quirico. In 1458 he painted frescoes for the convent Chapel of Margherita of Prato—these are his most important and monumental works and were in turn a direct inspiration on his pupil Sandro Botticelli. Lippi spent the last years of his life at Spoleto, where he was commissioned to paint scenes from the life of the Virgin for the cathedral's apse. His paintings were deeply influenced by the perspective theory of the architect Brunelleschi and by the sculptor Donatello, in particular for his realistic plastic depiction of human subjects. He was perhaps the greatest colourist and technically skilled painter of his time and was equally gifted in the art of portraiture. Prominent artworks by Fra Filippo Lippi include 'Madonna in the Forest' (late 1450s) and 'Madonna and Child with Saints' (1437).
  • Artist Place of Death: Spoleto, Italy
  • Artist Place of Birth: Florence, Italy
  • Artist Gender: male
  • Artist Dates: 1406/1469-10-08

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