I. Fra Filippo, an Italian painter, born in Florence in 1412, died in Spoleto in 1469. He was of obscure parentage, and at an early age found refuge in the convent of the Carmelites in Florence, where he was induced by poverty to assume the habit of the order.
According to Vasari, he was the pupil of Masac-cio. Impelled partly by a passion for his art, partly by a love of pleasure, he escaped to Ancona when about 18 years old, renounced his sacred profession, and established himself as a painter. While on a sea excursion near Ancona, he was captured by a Barbary corsair and carried into captivity in Africa. Drawing one day a sketch of his master in charcoal, the latter was so much pleased with the performance that he released him and sent him home. Fra Filippo visited Naples and Rome, gaining, in spite of his profligate life, so much celebrity that the Medici family recalled him to Florence. In 1459, while engaged in painting the walls of the convent of Santa Margherita in Prato, he seduced a young novice named Lu-crezia Buti, who had sat for one of the figures in his pictures, and carried her away from the convent; a crime which it needed all the influence of the Medici to prevent the community from punishing summarily. A dispensation was finally procured from the pope to enable Fra Filippo to marry Lucrezia; but as he neglected to do so, her family contrived, it is said, to have him poisoned.
He is generally considered one of the greatest of the painters before Raphael, and was one of the first to design the human figure of the size of life, and to paint landscape backgrounds with some feeling for nature.
II. Filippino, the natural son of the preceding by the novice Lucrezia Buti, born in Florence in 1460, died in 1505. He followed the profession of his father, though free from his libertine tastes, and was among the first to introduce ornamental accessories from the antique into pictures. Many of his frescoes remain in Rome and Florence, some of which were long supposed to be by Masaccio.