Rogue Angel: A Novel of Fra Filippo Lippi

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9780937832332: Rogue Angel: A Novel of Fra Filippo Lippi

In 15th-century Florence, a frenzy of artistic creativity produced some of the world’s greatest masterpieces in architecture, sculpture, and paintings. Many Italians were inspired and influenced by the new ideas of humanism, which placed man at the center of the universe, making them believe they could be masters of their own fate. Artists found eager customers, first with the Catholic Church, and then among the families who rose to prominence and wealth through the growing silk, wool, and banking industries. Artists also found demanding customers within the church whose members were frequently divided between the passively restrictive Middle Ages and the actively expansive world of the Renaissance. Brother (Fra) Filippo Lippi, the great painter called Lippo, was a reluctant monk who never belonged in a monastery, and certainly never should have been allowed entrance into any convent. Unhappy in monasteries, he found himself more than comfortable in convents where he chose the prettiest of nuns as models and lovers. One became his wife. This everlasting virgin--mother of several children, served as inspiration to his many beautiful madonne. It is believed that Fra Lippo’s paintings adorn more bedrooms than those of any other artist.

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About the Author:

Carol Damioli, a native of Michigan, has lived in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Tokyo, Manila, Prague, Florence and Munich. She began as a newspaper reporter and worked in international radio and trade magazines. Her time in Florence led to the publication of her first novel, Rogue Angel, a historical novel about the Florentine Renaissance painter Fra Filippo Lippi, which was published in 1994. Italy also provided fodder for her latest novel, Portrait in Black and Gold, about Sofonisba Anguissola, a Renaissance artist who achieved international celebrity. She and her husband moved to Toronto in 2007, where she still lives and works as an editor and writer.

From Publishers Weekly:

The celestial harmonies of Fra Filippo Lippi (1406-1469), a leading Florentine painter of the early Renaissance, make a stark contrast to his dissipated, licentious life as re-created in this robust fictionalized portrait. An unruly orphan (his mother died when he was born, his father two years later), Lippi discovered his artistic gift in a Carmelite monastery, which he left for the pleasures of women and liquor. Damioli, a Chicago journalist, ably charts impetuous, art-obsessed Lippi's growing maturity under the guidance of his collaborator, the painter Masaccio; his strained relationship with the indulgent patron Cosimo de' Medici; and his reluctant marriage, at age 50, to the 23-year-old nun he seduced. Handsomely illustrated with black-and-white reproductions of Lippi's works, Damioli's straightforward, well-researched narrative plunges readers into the vortex of Medici politics, Papal intrigue, artistic rivalries, creativity and lust. She also paints a startlingly vivid picture of violent, disease-ridden Florence, taking us inside its guilds, taverns, bordellos, slums, prisons and elaborate pageants, which ``helped distract the masses from their powerlessness.''

Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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