Frier Phillipo Lippi.
Phillipo Lippi borne in Florence, was a poore Childe, and left fatherlesse and motherlesse, was brought vp by an Aunt; at eight yeares of age, placed in a Monasterie of the ••cobines, where out of his naturall inclination, he practised Drawing and Painting; and in short time grew to that excellence, that he was admired of all: making in his Cloyster many Histories in we•, after Masaccio's manner. At seuenteene yeares of age he forsooke his or∣der. Being in La Marcad' Ancona, he put himselfe with some friends to Sea, but were in short time taken by the Pirats of Barbaris, and sold into the Country for slaues, wearing heauie chaines about their legges. In this estate liued Phillipo eighteene moneths, but growing familiar with his Master, one day, when he saw his time and his Master in a good humour, tooke a coale, and vpon a white wall drew him from head to foot: this being seene of his fellow slaues, and shewed vnto his Master, who had neuer seene a picture before, was cause of his deliue∣ance: for making his escape, or at least his Master wink∣ing thereat, he made shift to come to Naples, where hee wrought in colours a most curious Altar-table for King Alphonsus. Hence hee went to Florence, and made ano∣ther Altar-table, which pleased Cosmo de Medicis won∣drous well; whereupon hee was employed by Cosmo in making many small Pictures, whereof some were sent vn∣to Eugenius the fourth, whereupon he grew in great fa∣uour Page 134 with the Pope. He was so addicted vnto Women, that what euer he got, hee bestowed and spent it among them: whereupon Cosmo shut him vp into a Chamber in his house, that he might follow his worke close; but ha∣uing beene thus mewed vp by the space of two daies, the humou• of gadding tooke him againe in the head; and one euening cutting his sheets, made ropes of them, and so gat out at a window. But shortly after, found and brought to Cosmo againe, he had libertie to go and come at his pleasure, and was better attended and serued then before. For said Cosmo. The excellence of rare Spirits are heauenly formes, and no burden-bearing Mules. Many ex∣cellent peeces he made in Florence, admired and applau∣ded by the best Masters. At Pr•t•o by Florence, where hee was acquainted, the Nunnes of Sancta Margarita procured him to make their high Altar-table, where be∣ing at worke, hee espied a beautifull virgin, a Citizens daughter of Florence, whose name was Francisco Bati: This maid was there kept to be made a Nunne; she was most beautifull, her name was Lucretia, & so he wrought with the Nunnes, that he obtained leaue to draw her Pi∣cture; but by continuall gazing vpon her countenance, he became so enamoured of her, that what by close mes∣sengers and other meanes, he got her out of the Nunne∣rie: he got her away and married her, and by her he had a sonne, named also Phillip, who became an excellent Painter. This Frier Phillips workes are to bee seene at Prato. And amongst other S. Bernard layed out dead, his brethren mourning about him, and many Cripples and diseased persons, which (as it was said) with touching the Herse and his body, were healed. Then hee most ex∣cellently wrought the Martyrdome of S. Stephen, the be∣heading of S. Iohn Baptist, with many others. He died aged fiftie seuen, Anno 1438. Hee had a stately Monu∣ment of Marble erected ouer him; his Epitaph was writ∣ten by Angelus Politianus, which for the elegancy I will set downe.