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The Cover
December 27, 2000

The Adoration of the Magi

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2000;284(24):3099. doi:10.1001/jama.284.24.3099

Busy as a Bruegel, colorful as a county fair, tender as a woman with her first-born, The Adoration of the Magi (cover ) is the fruit of the collaboration between two Florentine artists, the most sought after painters of their time: one was a Dominican friar and the other a Carmelite monk. But there the coincidences end: today one is remembered as a saint and the other as a sinner with a scandalous history. The Dominican was Fra Angelico (c 1400-1455), reputed for his holiness, even during his lifetime and, five centuries after his death known as "Beatific." The Carmelite was Fra Filippo Lippi (c 1406-1469), and while his paintings may be considered beatific, he is today chiefly remembered for abducting an Augustian nun who had served as his model for a painting of the Virgin and who then bore him a child. (That child later became the painter Filippino Lippi, famous in Florence for the spiritual aura of his work.) Fra Filippo's is a story Vasari recounts with relish, the abduction having taken place when the young nun Lucrezia Buti had been granted special permission to leave her convent to attend an exhibition of the Sacred Girdle of Our Lady.

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