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Filippino Lippi, An Angel Adoring

Key facts
Full title An Angel Adoring
Artist Filippino Lippi
Artist dates about 1457 - 1504
Date made probably about 1495
Medium and support Tempera on wood
Dimensions 55.9 × 25.4 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Wynn Ellis, 1876
Inventory number NG927
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
An Angel Adoring
Filippino Lippi

This painting is a damaged fragment of a larger composition by the Florentine painter Filippino Lippi. The original appearance of the complete picture may be echoed in a copy that survives in a private collection, which shows the Virgin Mary and infant Christ flanked by two angels.

Our fragment contains the angel that would have been on the left-hand side. His hands are clasped in adoration of the Christ Child, traces of whom may still be seen around the right edge of the picture. The top of another head, possibly belonging to the young Saint John the Baptist, is visible at the bottom of our fragment.

Another fragment showing the other angel survives in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Strasbourg. It’s likely that the original painting had become very damaged, and that the owner thought he could make it into two pictures by cutting out the best preserved sections and selling them as independent works.

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