Madonna col Bambino (c.1483-1484)

Lippi, Filippino (1457-1504)

Madonna col Bambino (Madonna and Child)
Tempera, oil, and gold on wood, 81.3 x 59.7 cm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

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. (MET)