Madonna col Bambino, santo Stefano, san Giovanni Battista e Francesco di Marco Datini che presenta i quattro Buonomini (Madonna del Ceppo)
Gold and tempera on panel
The Madonna del Ceppo, a capital work in Filippo Lippi's mature career, was financed in 1453 by the Prato charity of the same name, founded by Francesco di Marco Datini. The altarpiece has therefore become the emblem of the city's generosity. The intentionally archaic setting is the characteristic of this large arched altarpiece with a gold background, for the use of a tabernacle, which aims to evoke the abstract and iconic model of the fourteenth-century Maestà̀. In the Madonna, Lippi represents a model of humanity and classic beauty, prior to the meeting with Lucrezia buti, a regular face veiled with melancholy which in its intensity confirms the full Lippesca autograph.