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|Masters in Art, Vol. 6: A Series of Illustrated Monographs, Issued Monthly; December, 1905; Part 72, Fra Filippo Lippi (Classic Reprint)
by Bates and Guild Company
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Excerpt from Masters in Art, Vol. 6: A Series of Illustrated Monographs, Issued Monthly; December, 1905; Part 72, Fra Filippo Lippi
When Cosimo found that the painter had disappeared, writes Vasari, he caused him to be sought, and Fra Filippo at last returned to his work; but from that time forward Cosimo gave him liberty to go in and out at his pleasure, repenting greatly of having previously shut him up when he consid ered the danger that Fra Filippo had incurred in descending from the win dow, and ever afterwards labored to keep him to his work by kindness only. In spite, however, of his irresponsible and often scandalous behavior, which caused him to be the talk of all Florence, Fra Filippo at this period of his ca reer executed numerous important works, of which the greatest of all was the celebrated 'coronation of the Virgin' begun in 1434, and which, brought to completion seven years later, confirmed the artist's reputation as one of the leading painters of the day. But notwithstanding his increasing fame and the numbers of commissions he now received, Fra Filippo was always in want and always in debt. In August, 1439, we find him addressing a begging letter to Piero de' Medici, in which he calls himself the poorest friar in all Flor ence, and implores his patron for a little corn and wine to aid in the support of six orphan nieces who had been left to his care. I cannot leave home, he writes, for I have not enough to buy a pair of socks, and yet ifi stay here I am a dead man, so great is the terror I live in. So I entreat you to reply at once, and send word to your house that something may be paid me.
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