Saints Benedict and Apollonia
c. 1483
Filippino Lippi (Italian, 1457-1504)
On View

This panel, along with its companion Saints Paul and Frediano, were cited admiringly by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Artist when he saw them in the Church of San Ponziano in Lucca, where they formed an ensemble, flanking a polychrome sculpture of St. Anthony Abbot. St. Benedict, the founder of Western Christian monasticism, accompanies St. Apollonia, a third-century martyr and the principle female saint associated with the Benedictine order. She holds the instruments of her torture. Paul the Apostle bears a sword, symbol of his death, and St. Frediano, patron saint of Lucca accompanies him.

An exceptional draftsman and fluid painter, Lippi easily absorbed the multiple artistic trends in painting that made Florence, and the whole of Tuscany, such a vital art center in the fifteenth century. The beautiful landscape background, particularly the fortified city and anecdotal details, reveal Lippi’s admiration of Northern European art and the inspiration of Hans Memling whose work was seen in Florence by 1480. Lippi’s decorative linear manner, filtered through Botticelli, is integrated with the representation of mass and his knowledge of Leonardo’s studies of physiognomy is resident in the individualized features of each saint. Indeed the melancholic grace of the figures is almost unprecedented in Italian painting at this date, and extraordinary in light of the artist’s age of twenty-five.

Details

  • Artist Name: Filippino Lippi (Italian, 1457-1504)
  • Title: Saints Benedict and Apollonia
  • Date: c. 1483
  • Medium: Tempera glazed with oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 62 x 23-5/8 in. (157.5 x 60 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1973.21.1.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Church of Santa Maria del Corso, Lucca, Transferred ca. 1508 to;
Church of San Ponziano, Lucca, removed sometime ca. 1800.
Richard Bingham (d. 1839), 2nd Earl of Lucan, Laleham, Middlesex, England, by descent to;
George Charles Bingham (d. 1888), 3rd Earl of Lucan, Laleham, Middlesex, England, by descent to;
George Bingham (d. 1914), 4th Earl of Lucan, Laleham, Middlesex, England, by descent to;
George Charles (d. 1949), 5th Earl of Lucan, Laleham, Middlesex, England, by descent to;
George Charles Patrick (d. 1964), 6th Earl of Lucan, Laleham, Middlesex, England, by descent to;
Richard John, 7th Earl of Lucan, Laleham, Middlesex, England (sale, London, Sotheby's, 2 December 1964, lot 19, ill., to);
Col. I. J. Kiddle, bidding on behalf of;
[Wildenstein and Co., Inc., New York, sold to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.
Baldini, U.; and L. Berti, Filippino Lippi, pp. 59, 179, 182
Cecchi, Alessandro, Filippino Lippi e Sandro Botticelli, p. 130
Scharf, A., Filippino Lippi, no. 76
Nelson/Zambrano, Filippino Lippi, fig. 227, 255, cat. 26a pp. 233, 252, 339
Cropper, E., Florentine Drawing at the Time of Lorenzo the Magnificent, fig. 5
Renato Miracco, Italian Treasures in the U.S. An Itinerary of Art, p. #41
Berti, L.; and U. Baldini, Filippino Lippi, no. 7 p. 99
Dye, Sean, The Mixed-Media Sourcebook, p. 122
Padovani, Serena, et al, L'Età di Savonarola: Fra' Bartolomeo e la scuola di San Marco, under entry no. 3
Alfredo Bellandi, Fece di Scultura di Legname e Colori. La Scultura del Quattrocento in Legno Dipinto a Firenze, Figure 9 p. #46
Meiss, Millard, The Art Bulletin, figs. 1-4 pp. 479-493
Regoli, Gigetta Dalli, Critica d'Arte, p. 80
Ferretti, Massimo, Ad Alessandro Conti (1946-1994), pp. 23-26
Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, cat. 973A p. 358
Meiss, Millard, The Art Bulletin, p. 10
Comitato per la mostra Matteo Civitali e il suo tempo, Matteo Civitali e il suo tempo: Pittori, scultori e orafi a Lucca nel tardo Quattrocento, fig. 9 pp. 101-102
Vasari, Giorgio, Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori ed architettori, p. 466
Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, p. 20
Nuttall, Geoffrey, Filippino Lippi: Beauty, Invention and Intelligence, fig. 4.2 and fig. 4.9 p. [85], p. 103, pp. 105-109, p. 112, p. 114 ; p. [84] (ill.), p. 87 (ill.), p. 110 (ill.)
Ferretti, M., Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, p. 1039
Postrel, Virginia, Glamour: Fashion, Industrial Design, Architecture, fig. 6 p. 24
Crowe, J.; and G. Cavalcaselle, A New History of Painting in Italy, p. 434
Parlato, Enrico, Studi Romani, pl. LI p. 279
Ekserdjian, David, The Italian Renaissance Altarpiece, fig. 214 p.355 ; p. 354 (ill.)
Concioni, Graziano; Claudia Ferri and Giuseppe Ghilarducci, I Pittori Rinascimentali a Lucca: Vita, Opere, Committenza, figs. 18, 19 pp. 126-131
Boskovitis, Miklos, Brown, David Alan, et al., Italian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century, p. 373
Van Marle, R., The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, p. 360
Goldner, George R.; Bambach, Carmen C.; with Cecchi, Alessandro, et al., The Drawings of Filippino Lippi and His Circle, pp. 4, 11, 55, 145, 148, 155, 353
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Saints Paul and Frediano Filippino Lippi c. 1483

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