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The Annunciation

Workshop of Fra Filippo Lippi (Italian, Florence ca. 1406–1469 Spoleto)

Tempera on wood
15 7/8 x 27 1/2 in. (40.3 x 69.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Maitland F. Griggs Collection, Bequest of Maitland F. Griggs, 1943
Accession Number:
  • Catalogue Entry


  • Provenance

    ?private collection; [Spanish Gallery, London; sold to Bloch]; [Vitale Bloch, Berlin, until 1936/37, as attributed to Pesellino; sold to Griggs]; Maitland Fuller Griggs, New York (1936/37–d. 1943)

  • Exhibition History

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Maitland F. Griggs Collection," Winter 1944, no catalogue.

    Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. "30 Masterpieces: An Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 4–November 23, 1947, unnumbered cat.

    Iowa City. State University of Iowa, School of Fine Arts. "30 Masterpieces: An Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 9–March 31, 1948, unnumbered cat.

    Bloomington. Indiana University. "30 Masterpieces: An Exhibition of Paintings from the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 18–May 16, 1948, no catalogue.

    Lexington, Va. Washington and Lee University. "The Metropolitan Museum of Art Loan Exhibit," October 30, 1950–January 15, 1951, no. 7.

    Athens, Ga. Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia. February 15–April 5, 1951, no catalogue?

    Westport, Conn. Westport Community Art Association. February 12–24, 1955, no catalogue?

    Albion, Mich. Albion College. November 29–December 16, 1956, no catalogue?

    Stamford, Conn. Stamford Museum and Nature Center. "Renaissance Paintings," May 2–17, 1964, no catalogue.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Florentine Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," June 15–August 15, 1971, no catalogue.

  • References

    Alfred M. Frankfurter. "The Maitland F. Griggs Collection." Art News 35 (May 1, 1937), pp. 30, 155, ill. p. 45 (color), rejects the attribution to Pesellino and ascribes it to the school of Filippo Lippi, noting the influence of Fra Angelico and Domenico Veneziano; dates it a few years after 1439 and detects the same hand in Lippi's Coronation of the Virgin altarpiece and Annunciation of the Virgin's Death (both Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence).

    "Fra Filippo Lippi (Workshop): 'The Annunciation'." Art News 42 (January 15–31, 1944), p. 18, ill. (color), attributes it to Lippi's workshop and dates it about 1445.

    Francis Henry Taylor. "The Maitland F. Griggs Collection." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 2 (January 1944), ill. p. 154.

    Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School. London, 1963, vol. 1, p. 219, attributes it to an artist between Lippi and Pesellino, and calls it a predella panel.

    Federico Zeri. "La Mostra 'Arte in Valdelsa' a Certaldo." Bollettino d'arte, 4th ser., 48 (July–September 1963), p. 249, attributes it to Lippi, compares it to a Madonna and Child in the church at Bottinaccio, and dates it about 1448–50.

    Fern Rusk Shapley. "Italian Schools: XIII–XV Century." Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. 1, London, 1966, pp. 107–8, under no. K1342, after studying the manuscript of Ref. Zeri and Gardner 1971, accepts the attribution to Lippi and the association with the panel in the National Gallery of Art, Washington [see Notes]; states that the two works may be the only remnants known from the altarpiece recorded by Vasari as in the church of the Murate, Florence, but also suggests that they might come from the predella of Lippi's Coronation of the Virgin altarpiece, painted for the chapel of Saint Bernard at Monte Oliveto, Arezzo (Pinacoteca Vaticana); quotes Zeri as calling it an "idea of Filippo Lippi, execution in large part by Pesellino".

    Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Florentine School. New York, 1971, pp. 87–88, ill., attribute it to Lippi and call the style typical of his work in the mid–1440s, placing it between the Uffizi Coronation and the Annunciation in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich; consider it the central section of a predella, possibly from the altarpiece painted about 1443 for the convent of the Murate in Florence, recorded by Vasari; suggest that a panel showing a scene from the life of Saint Benedict in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, may have been part of the same predella.

    Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 106, 304, 608, as by Filippo Lippi.

    Giuseppe Marchini. Filippo Lippi. Milan, 1975, pp. 16, 168, 205, 208, no. 26, fig. 207, accepts Zeri's [see Ref. 1963] attribution to Lippi and considers it probably part of the Murate altarpiece, but doubts the connection to the panel in Washington.

    Eliot Wooldridge Rowlands. "Filippo Lippi's Stay in Padua and its Impact on his Art." PhD diss., Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., 1983, pp. xiii, 195 n. 361, fig. 66, rejects the attribution to Lippi and assigns it to the Master of the Barberini Panels; dates it about 1450 and accepts the association with the Washington panel of Saint Benedict.

    Leo Steinberg. "'How Shall This Be?' Reflections on Filippo Lippi's 'Annunciation' in London, Part I." Artibus et Historiae no. 16 (1987), pp. 34–35, 44 n. 31, fig. 13, attributes it to Lippi, but notes that "its status as an autograph Lippi is unsettled"; dates it about 1445; discusses the intimacy between Mary and the dove.

    Jeffrey Ruda. Fra Filippo Lippi: Life and Work, with a Complete Catalogue. London, 1993, pp. 203, 414, 486–87, no. U4, pl. 376, rejects the attribution to Lippi and the connection to the panel in Washington; suggests it was executed by an unidentified artist familiar with Lippi's work and dates it 1440s.

    Miklós Boskovits in Italian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century. Washington, 2003, pp. 413–15 n. 17, fig. 1 (reconstruction), attributes it to Lippi but is unconvinced of its connection with the Washington panel, which he thinks likely formed part of the Arezzo altarpiece.

    Anna Tambini. "Due polittici a confronto: un contributo per Fra Carnevale." Bartolomeo Corradini (Fra' Carnevale) nella cultura urbinate del XV secolo. Urbino, 2004, p. 299 n. 2, notes that Rowlands [see Ref. 1983] attributed it to the Master of the Barberini Panels, calling it an example of the joint influence of Domenico Veneziano and Fra Filippo Lippi on Fra Carnevale's work.

  • Notes

    This panel and a scene from the life of Saint Benedict in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, have been associated with altarpieces painted by Lippi for the convent of the Murate, Florence [see Ref. Zeri and Gardner 1971], and for the monastery of Monte Oliveto, Arezzo [see Ref. Shapley 1966]. Ruda [see Ref. 1993], however, rejects the proposed connection between the MMA and Washington panels.

  • See also