Allegory (Filippino Lippi)

Last updated
Filippino, Allegoria.jpg
Artist Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio
Yearc. 1498
Type Oil
Dimensions30 cm× 23 cm(12 in× 9.1 in)
Location Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Allegory is a painting mostly attributed to Ridolfo del Ghirlandaio. In the past it was usually attributed to the Italian Renaissance master Filippino Lippi, executed around 1498. It is now in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence. The work had been variously assigned, to Leonardo da Vinci, one of the Ghirlandaio family, or an unknown 15th century painter.


The scene is set on a hill, with Florence in the background. It features a man, whose legs are tied by a serpent, who closes to an aged one, dressing in red and sitting near a tree. The latter is holding several lightnings. Next to the walking man is a small stoat, a symbol of purity.

The same character, with the serpent getting out from his jacket and looking at him, has fallen in the foreground. An inscription gets out from his mouth, saying NULLA DETERIOR PESTIS QUAM FAMILIARIS INIMICUS ("Nothing is more dangerous than a family's enemy") and going towards the old man.

The subject has been variously interpreted: as the story of Laocoön, an allegory of two enemy brothers, or, more likely, of the civil wars that followed the fall of Girolamo Savonarola in Florence. The last version is supported by the fact that, in Renaissance art, the presence of a well defined city (Florence in this case) had always a meaning. The man dressing in red would be God or Jupiter; in the latter case, the man nearing him would be nearing paganism, the serpent being a symbol of the Devil making him stumble later.

Related Research Articles

Domenico Ghirlandaio Italian Renaissance painter from Florence (1448-1494)

Domenico Ghirlandaio, also spelled as Ghirlandajo, was an Italian Renaissance painter born in Florence. Ghirlandaio was part of the so-called "third generation" of the Florentine Renaissance, along with Verrocchio, the Pollaiolo brothers and Sandro Botticelli. Ghirlandaio led a large and efficient workshop that included his brothers Davide Ghirlandaio and Benedetto Ghirlandaio, his brother-in-law Bastiano Mainardi from San Gimignano, and later his son Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. Many apprentices passed through Ghirlandaio's workshop, including the famous Michelangelo. Ghirlandaio's particular talent lay in his ability to posit depictions of contemporary life and portraits of contemporary people within the context of religious narratives, bringing him great popularity and many large commissions.

Andrea del Verrocchio 15th century Italian sculptor, goldsmith and painter

Andrea del Verrocchio, born Andrea di Michele di Francesco de' Cioni, was an Italian painter, sculptor, and goldsmith who was a master of an important workshop in Florence. He apparently became known as Verrocchio after the surname of his master, a goldsmith. Few paintings are attributed to him with certainty, but a number of important painters were trained at his workshop. His pupils included Leonardo da Vinci, Pietro Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi. His greatest importance was as a sculptor and his last work, the Equestrian statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni in Venice, is generally accepted as a masterpiece.

Demetrios Chalkokondyles

Demetrios Chalkokondyles, Latinized as Demetrius Chalcocondyles and found variously as Demetricocondyles, Chalcocondylas or Chalcondyles was one of the most eminent Greek scholars in the West. He taught in Italy for over forty years; his colleagues included Marsilius Ficinus, Angelus Politianus, and Theodorus Gaza in the revival of letters in the Western world, and Chalkokondyles was the last of the Greek humanists who taught Greek literature at the great universities of the Italian Renaissance. One of his pupils at Florence was the famous Johann Reuchlin. Chalkokondyles published the first printed publications of Homer, of Isocrates, and of the Suda lexicon.

<i>Annunciation</i> (Leonardo)

Annunciation is a painting attributed to the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, dating from circa 1472–1475. It is housed in the Uffizi gallery of Florence, Italy. Leonardo might have finished the Annunciation in his early twenties.

<i>Venus of Urbino</i>

The Venus of Urbino is an oil painting by the Italian painter Titian, which seems to have been begun in 1532 or 1534, and was perhaps completed in 1534, but not sold until 1538. It depicts a nude young woman, traditionally identified with the goddess Venus, reclining on a couch or bed in the sumptuous surroundings of a Renaissance palace. It is now in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence.

Ognissanti, Florence

The chiesa di San Salvatore di Ognissanti or more simply chiesa di Ognissanti, is a Franciscan church located on the piazza of the same name in central Florence, region of Tuscany, Italy. Founded by the lay order of the Umiliati, the church was dedicated to all the saints and martyrs, known and unknown.

Domenico Puligo

Domenico Puligo (1492–1527) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance, active in Florence. His real name was Domenico di Bartolomeo Ubaldini.

Florentine painting

Florentine painting or the Florentine School refers to artists in, from, or influenced by the naturalistic style developed in Florence in the 14th century, largely through the efforts of Giotto di Bondone, and in the 15th century the leading school of Western painting. Some of the best known painters of the earlier Florentine School are Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Filippo Lippi, the Ghirlandaio family, Masolino, and Masaccio.

Sassetti Chapel

The Sassetti Chapel is a chapel in the basilica of Santa Trinita in Florence, Italy. It is especially notable for its frescoes of the Stories of St. Francis, considered Domenico Ghirlandaio's masterwork.

Italian Renaissance painting Art movement

Italian Renaissance painting is the painting of the period beginning in the late 13th century and flourishing from the early 15th to late 16th centuries, occurring in the Italian peninsula, which was at that time divided into many political states, some independent but others controlled by external powers. The painters of Renaissance Italy, although often attached to particular courts and with loyalties to particular towns, nonetheless wandered the length and breadth of Italy, often occupying a diplomatic status and disseminating artistic and philosophical ideas.

<i>Allegory of Prudence</i> painting by Titian

The Allegory of Prudence is an oil-on-canvas painting attributed to the Italian artist Titian and his assistants. The painting portrays three human heads, each facing in a different direction, above three animal heads. It is in the National Gallery, London.

Tornabuoni Chapel

The Tornabuoni Chapel is the main chapel in the church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy. It is famous for the extensive and well-preserved fresco cycle on its walls, one of the most complete in the city, which was created by Domenico Ghirlandaio and his workshop between 1485 and 1490.

<i>Allegories</i> (Bellini) Series of paintings by Giovanni Bellini and Andrea Previtali in the Gallerie dellAccademia, Venice

The Four Allegories is a series of four small panel paintings in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice, Italy by the Italian Renaissance master Giovanni Bellini, whose date has been variously argued as different points in the range 1490–1504. They all measure 34 (Perseverance) or 32 × 22 cm in size.

<i>Holy Allegory</i>

The Holy Allegory is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Giovanni Bellini, dating from c. 1490 to 1500. It is in the Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy.

<i>The Crossing of the Red Sea</i> (Sistine Chapel)

The Crossing of the Red Sea is a fresco executed in 1481–1482 and located in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican City. Of uncertain attribution, it has been assigned to one between Domenico Ghirlandaio, Biagio d'Antonio or Cosimo Rosselli.

<i>Moses Leaving for Egypt</i> (Perugino)

Moses Leaving for Egypt is a fresco by the Italian Renaissance painter Pietro Perugino and his workshop, executed around 1482 and located in the Sistine Chapel, Rome. It depicts a journey by the prophet Moses.

<i>Adoration of the Magi</i> (Ospedale degli Innocenti)

The Adoration of the Magi is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Domenico Ghirlandaio, executed around 1485-1488 and housed in the Ospedale degli Innocenti gallery in Florence, Italy. The predella, painted by Bartolomeo di Giovanni, is in the same site.

<i>Vocation of the Apostles</i>

The Vocation of the Apostles is a fresco by the Italian Renaissance painter Domenico Ghirlandaio, executed in 1481–1482 and located in the Sistine Chapel, Rome. It depicts the Gospel narrative of Jesus Christ calling Peter and Andrew to become his disciples.

<i>Saint Jerome in His Study</i> (after van Eyck)

Saint Jerome in His Study is an oil painting on panel attributed to the workshop of the early Netherlandish painter Jan van Eyck, dated to 1442 and now in the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit.

Santa Fina Chapel

The Saint Fina Chapel is an Early Renaissance chapel in the right aisle of the Collegiate church of Santa Maria Assunta, located in San Gimignano, Tuscany, Italy. It was designed by Giuliano and Benedetto da Maiano in 1468 to enshrine the relics of Saint Fina. The side walls of the chapel are painted in fresco by Domenico Ghirlandaio with two scenes from her life, executed between 1477 and 1478.