Overview

Filippino Lippi was the son of the painter Fra Filippo Lippi, who was undoubtedly the boy's first master. After his father died in 1469, he became a pupil of Botticelli, who had a profound influence on his style. In fact, the Washington portrait comes so close to Botticelli's style that there has been considerable disagreement among scholars as to exactly which artist was responsible for it. Although it has been attributed more often to Botticelli than to Filippino, most recent authors are now agreed that it is by the younger painter. In 1483 or 1484, Filippino was assigned the task of finishing Masaccio's great frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel in Florence. This portrait bears a great resemblance to a young man portrayed there by Filippino.

During the Gothic era and early Renaissance, donors of a painting would often be portrayed as tiny figures praying at the lower edge of a painting, as in Crivelli's Madonna Enthroned with Donor. During the Renaissance a new interest in the individual, in human character and feeling, gave rise to the genre of portraiture as an artistic expression. Filippino's likeness of an unknown sitter shows a young man dressed in the typically plain costume of a well-to-do Florentine of the time.

Inscription

Marks and Labels

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Provenance

Stefano Bardini [1836-1922], Florence, in the later 1880s; sold 1890 to Prince Johann II of Liechtenstein [1840-1929], Vienna;[1] (M. Knoedler & Co., New York and London), c. 1920; Mr. and Mrs. Frank D. Stout, Chicago, by 1924;[2] consigned November 1930 by Mrs. Stout to (M. Knoedler & Co., New York and London);[3] sold November 1930 to Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; deeded 30 March 1932 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh;[4] gift 1937 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1924
Loan Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Frank D. Stout, Art Institute of Chicago, 1924, no cat., illustrated in AIC Bulletin, September 1924: 76, as Young Man in Red Cap by Alessandro Botticelli.

Bibliography

1896
Bode, Wilhem von. Die Fürstlich Liechtenstein'sche Galerie in Wien. Vienna, 1896: repro., as by Botticelli.
1941
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 105, no. 20.
1942
Book of Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1942: 239, repro. 130.
1949
Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 23, repro.
1952
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds., Great Paintings from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1952: 32, color repro.
1960
The National Gallery of Art and Its Collections. Foreword by Perry B. Cott and notes by Otto Stelzer. National Gallery of Art, Washington (undated, 1960s): 23, repro. 20.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 300, repro.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 75
1966
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 1:54, color repro.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 66, repro.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 194, repro.
1979
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1979: I:247-258, II:pl. 173
1979
Watson, Ross. The National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1979: 27, pl. 9.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 97, no. 58, color repro.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 228, repro.
1991
Kopper, Philip. America's National Gallery of Art: A Gift to the Nation. New York, 1991: 67-69, color repro.
1992
National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 24, repro.
1997
Southgate, M. Therese. The Art of JAMA: One Hundred Covers and Essays from The Journal of the American Medical Association. St. Louis, 1997: 36-37, color repro.
2003
Boskovits, Miklós, David Alan Brown, et al. Italian Paintings of the Fifteenth Century. The Systematic Catalogue of the National Gallery of Art. Washington, 2003: 166-170, color repro., as by Botticelli.
2004
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 19, no. 14, color repro.
2009
Schumacher, Andreas, et al. Botticelli: Likeness, Myth, Devotion. Exh. cat. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, 2009: 196, fig. 102, as Portrait of a Young Man against a Light Background by Sandro Botticelli.

Technical Summary

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