Filippino Lippi was born in April 1457, in Prato, Italy. He was the illegitimate son of Lucrezia Buti with distinguished painter Fra Filippo Lippi. His earliest apprenticeship was under his father and after his death at Botticelli’s workshop, who himself had been a Fra Filippo’s pupil. In 1472, the painter’s guild record states that Filippino was Botticelli's only assistant.
His earliest works resemble those of Botticelli. Eventually, around 1480, Lippi developed a more personal and mature style. His artworks of this period include the Madonnas, Journeys of Tobia, Madonna of the Sea, and the Stories of Ester.
Along with Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, and Perugino, Lippi worked on the decoration of Lorenzo de’ Medici’s Villa. In 1482, he received a commission to decorate a wall in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, a work he never began. He soon was in charge of finishing Masaccio’s decoration at the Brancacci Chapel, which was left unfinished after Masaccio’s death in 1428.
Around 1486, Piero di Francesco del Pugliese asked Lippi to execute an altarpiece with the Apparition of the Virgin to St. Bernard. Said painting is often regarded as the artist’s most famous picture, which is also a good representative of his artwork, depicting very elongated human figures, backed by an almost dreamlike scenario.
In the following year, Filippo Strozzi commissioned Lippi to decorate the Strozzi Family chapel in Santa Maria Novella, depicting the Stories of St. John Evangelist and St. Philip. He would work in this project intermittently over a long period. He would only finish it after Strozzi’s death in 1503.
Lippi often depicted his characters immersed in landscapes recreating the ancient world with great detail. He was able to create a mysterious and fantastic world, as well as disquieting, like a heavy dreamscape, exploring the unreality of nightmare.
In 1488, under the recommendation of Lorenzo de Medici, the artist was entrusted to decorate the Carafa family chapel, located in the Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Said artwork shows development in Lippi style, due to his constant studies regarding the Ancient era.
The artist's last artwork was Deposition from the Cross, which was left unfinished due to his passing.
Filippino Lippi died in April 18, 1504, in Florence, Italy.