Filippo Lippi, Madonna of Humility

Filippo Lippi, Madonna of Humility, tempera on wood, transferred to canvas, 1429-1432 (inv. n. 551)

The painting was originally in the Florentine church of Santa Maria del Carmine where Filippo Lippi took holy orders and where he honed his art during the works on the Brancacci Chapel, decorated by a group of Tuscan artists. Of these, master Masaccio left an indelible impression on the young artist, as is evident from the spacial construction which connotes the Madonna of Humility. A predominantly plastic structure prevails, with the subjects arranged to form a pyramidal shape between a thin strip of garden and the sky in the background. The focal point of the structure is the figure of the Virgin, who is sitting with a plump baby in her arms and looking at the viewer. Two groups of wingless angels and some saints of the Dominican order (on the left Saint Angela of Bohemia, on the right Saint Angelo of Licata wearing a sign of martyrdom on his head, and Saint Albert of Trapani, who is carrying a lily on his shoulder) form a annulus around the Madonna. The 2013 restoration finally repaired the sections compromised due to the transferral of the painting to canvas following the elimination of the original wooden panel. The painting, which arrived in Milan in 1831, as part of the dowry of Marianna Rinuccini, wife of Giorgio Teodoro Trivulzio, entered the Gallery with the acquisition of Prince Luigi Alberico Trivulzio's collection in 1935.