2012: Advent Art History: Naked Baby Jesus Advent Calendar – December 16

by on December 16, 2012

The Adoration, with the Infant Baptist and St. Bernard.

Fra Filippo Lippi


Tempera on panel.

We’ve seen a few works by artists who were trained by Filippo Lippi already this month, so I thought that I would show you one of my favourite works by the artist himself.

This kind of scene is known as an Adoration (just like Botticelli’s from a few days ago). From left to right, St Bernard pops out of a cloud to pray, with the infant John the Baptist standing in front of him. In the centre of the scene God the Father appears over the Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove), with rays extending down to the Christ Child. The Virgin kneels over him in prayer.

Click to enlarge the image and see the details better.

What always amazes me about Filippo Lippi’s work is that he manages to achieve such wonderful detil using tempera. I also like the sweetness of the Virgin’s expression and that the Christ Child looks like he’s about to put his fingers in his mouth, although what he’s actually doing is gesturing to himself with one hand and to the Virgin with the other.

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