Triptych with Saint Anthony, Abbot Roch, and Catherine of Alexandria

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Filippino Lippi, Triptych with Saint Anthony, Abbot Roch, and Catherine of Alexandria, 15th Century
By CHARNAI ANDERSON

The first thing I noticed about this painting was the attractive leg that Abbot Roch presents to us. Along with the pleasant leg action he is wearing very fashionable clothing and high knee boots. I like the golden outline of this painting, and I think that the colors contrast well. The bright colors of the clothing contrast and go well with the nude background. I find it interesting that the subjects in this painting have different halos. Another thing is that I am not entirely sure on if the background of each section is together or if each section has its' own separate background I know and understand that this piece is a triptych meaning that these are separate paintings most likely hinged together to be used as an alter piece. Another interesting factor I took into consideration when looking at this painting was that there is not much blue. 

In Art History we just recently completed a book by Michael Baxandall called Painting & Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy. In the book, there is a section that Baxandall explains the representation of colors throughout fifteenth-century paintings. I won't list all of his suggestions because that would be nsipid and tedious, but I'll just point out a few correlations between his ideas and this painting. 

One thing that caught my eye was that Alberti's elemental code insist that green is a depiction of water. I found that absurd because I was still reading the book with a twenty-first century eye instead of a period eye as Baxandall suggest, but this Lippi painting proves Baxandall correct in the sense that the color green can be used for water. I also think that there is some meaning behind the broken golden wheel that is at the feet of Catherine of Alexandria because although her red dress signifies charity the yellow-gold wheel represents dignity something that she could have possibly have lost and no longer possess. 

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