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Filippino Lippi

An Abundance of Invention

Offering particular insight into Filippino Lippi’s artistic problem-solving, an innovative look at the Renaissance master.
The first focused study of Filippino Lippi in a generation, and the first in English in over eighty years, this book presents a new understanding of the Renaissance master-artist. Celebrated as “ingenious” by Vasari in 1550, Filippino was highly praised and influential, then fell out of favor and was forgotten for centuries. He was rediscovered by the poet Swinburne, who in 1868 celebrated the painter’s “inventive enjoyment and indefatigable fancy.” In a similar spirit, this volume explores Filippino’s creativity in solving artistic problems. If a Roman cardinal requested a classically inspired work or a Florentine humanist wanted to dazzle observers with his antiquarian interests, Filippino had the sensitivity to understand these diverse needs and express them with highly original solutions.

248 pages | 50 color plates, 15 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Renaissance Lives

Art: Art Criticism, Art--Biography

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"Abundant invention and a special intelligence define Filippino Lippi’s works as presented by Nelson, who matches those qualities in his analysis of the artist’s career. Filippino emerges here in all of his creative versatility. Nelson demonstrates the painter’s stylistic sensitivity, showing how he met the demands of different situations with striking and innovative solutions. Highly praised in his time, Filippino provoked new ways of looking. Nelson, in turn, provides a fascinating new way of seeing Lippi and his works."

Patricia Rubin, emerita professor of art history, New York University

"Nelson's book combines a rigorous historical approach with an admirable openness to ideas that make it the most sophisticated and well-rounded monograph on the artist yet written. By thoughtfully defining the special qualities of this inventive painter, Nelson offers his readers new insights into how Filippino's work was understood by his contemporaries and how his inventiveness mattered in his own time."

Christian K. Kleinbub, professor of Italian Renaissance art, Ohio State University

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