Madonna and Child

Filippino Lippi Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 604

The Madonna and Child are shown in a contemporary Florentine palace. Through the window is an arcade with the armorial device of the wealthy Florentine banker Filippo Strozzi (three crescents). The background evokes the area around the Strozzi villa near Florence. A Black man can be seen on a bridge spearing fish, and outside a house a Black woman performs domestic tasks. Enslaved people from sub-Saharan Africa began arriving in Florence through Portugal in the 1460s, and documents record the presence of enslaved people in Strozzi’s household.

Madonna and Child, Filippino Lippi (Italian, Prato ca. 1457–1504 Florence), Tempera, oil, and gold on wood

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