The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
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.
Southgate MT. The Adoration of the Magi. JAMA. 2000;284(24):3099. doi:10.1001/jama.284.24.3099