'Children and their Guardian Angels', detail of 'The Coronation of the Virgin' after Filippo Lippi
Charles Fairfax Murray
Date Made/Found: 1876-1880
, British, 1849 - 1919
, Italian, circa 1406 - 1469
Material and Medium: pencil and watercolour on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 610 x 456mm
Sight size: 344 x 260mm
Accession Number: CGSG00166
'The Coronation of the Virgin' is a large altarpiece that dates to1440s and was made for the Sant' Ambrogio Convent near Florence. The central figures of God and the Madonna are surrounded by about 45 saints and angels, many of them holding lilies. Murray’s unfinished drawing shows a group from the lower centre of the work, and in the original are shown in red and blue robes which symbolise humanity (red) and spirituality (blue).
John Ruskin felt that Lippi’s 'art [was] the finest, out and out, that ever monk did.'
He wrote that Lippi was 'nobly religious - exemplifying the most perfect unison of religious myth with faithful realism yet produced,' and echoed this in a letter to his friend, Mrs Cowper-Temple, 'Lippi has brought me into a new world, being a complete monk and yet an entirely noble painter.'