lucrezia buti: the meeting with fra’ filippo
In January 1466 Fra Filippo received the balance of the payment for his frescoes, which cost all of 1,962 florins (including the materials and scaffoldings), but with the complete satisfaction of the clients. The following year, Filippo and his entourage moved to Spoleto, to fresco the apse of the Cathedral there.
At the same time, the artist received an order from the convent in Prato of the Servi di Maria for an altarpiece entitled The Presentation at the Temple (still on view in the church of the Holy Spirit), painted almost entirely by his collaborators, in 1467-68, on models painted by the master, with an interesting setting in perspective that opens outward.
The Spoleto frescoes were completed shortly after the death of Fra Filippo, in October 1469; for a few years his workshop, directed by Fra Diamante, continued to operate in Prato. For the monastery of St. Margaret, of which Fra Diamante was the chaplain, in 1470-72 an altarpiece was painted depicting the Nativity, now at the Louvre (it was carried off by the French government in 1812). The City Museum still has the predella (now part of the exhibition The Treasures of the City), with three scenes: The Presentation in the Temple; The Adoration of the Magi; The Slaughter of the Innocents, painted by Fra Diamante and collaborators. Many critics see in the Adoration – with its dynamic, dramatic sketching of a small, airy landscape – an early work of the young Filippino Lippi.