73. Filippino Lippi

Prato circa 1457 – 1504 Florence

A Monk Carrying a Book

A great draughtsman of the Florentine Renaissance, Filippino Lippi could handle a metalpoint on prepared paper with a spontaneity and confidence unmatched by any other artist of his generation. Achieving effects comparable to those found in pen drawings (the pen is a more fluid, manageable tool), Lippi pushed the limits of this technique which was notorious for the precision it required. The white highlights indicate the places where the light falls and are applied with an accuracy bred of careful observation. The supple lines and freedom of the hatching defining the shadows allow us to date this work to the end of Lippi’s life, circa 1490-1500.