Lippo Memmi was an Italian painter from Siena. He was the foremost follower of Simone Martini, his brother-in-law. Together with Martini, in 1333 he painted what is regarded as one of the masterworks of the International Gothic, the Annunciation with St. Margaret and St. Ansanus mainly working on the two saints, he was one of the artists who worked at Orvieto Cathedral, for which he finished the Virgin of Mercy. He followed Martini to the Papal court in Avignon, where he worked until the mid-14th century. After his return to Siena, Memmi continued to work until his death in 1356. Memmi's famed artwork, La Madonna della Febbre was the first venerated image of the Blessed Virgin Mary granted with a Canonical coronation by a Pope on 27 May 1631; the image has long been since held miraculous and is enshrined at the Sacristy chapel of the Blessed Sacrament inside Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. Memmi's figures retain the static and frontal view found in the earlier generation of late Duecento masters such as Guido da Siena.
Common features of his documented and attributed work are the sophisticated compositional arrangements, figures rendered with a striking facial roundness, narrow eyes, graceful brow lines, elongated noses. Memmi's figures are considered less innovative than those of his Trecento contemporaries, the sensibility of the lines used in the face and the eyes harken back to the conventions of the Byzantine tradition. Though they demonstrate Memmi's adherence to earlier conventions of emphasizing the spiritual function of Medieval art, there are indications of the forward looking stylistic developments of his fellow Sienese masters. A description of his St. Agnes panel shows how Memmi's pictorial style was less severe and angular than the Duecento works his imagery recalled: “...has softer qualities and its spirit is tranquil”. Indeed, his depiction of emotion and realism is subdued by this'soft tranquility', leaving figures to read as somewhat archaic, yet projecting a dreamy quality. Memmi is remembered for distinctive stamped tin halos with ray patterns in gold leaf.
This interest in design carries over to Memmi's observation of their placement. He is known as an effective miniaturist, using sgraffito to delicately render garments as depicted in the Griggs Madonna and Child at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Assumption of the Virgin at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. Memmi's interest in detail is evident in his innovative compositional devices using simple geometric shapes such as the circular arrangement of the angels in the Assumption of the Virgin; the term “Lippesque', coined by Joseph Polzer, describes the overall effect of Memmi's visual devices found in several Madonna and Christ images. “The seated Christ Child in the central image, his head, axially and frontally ordered... heads close to spheroid in shape and share a dominating large forehead crowned by an identical centrally located whirl of hair”. These Lippesque elements are on display in the Sienese panel S. Maria dei Servi, which Polzer uses to demonstrate Memmi's authorship of the Madonna and Child and the Coronation of the Virgin at the Gemäldegalerie, rather than Simone Martini.
A considerable amount of ongoing research on unsigned panels and altarpieces of early to mid-Trecento Sienese art has revealed the plausible influence of Memmi on various artists in the generation following the outbreak of the Black Death in 1348. Thus, a more complete understanding of his style and artistic achievements continues to emerge, his status as an artist of personal expression, rather than a craftsman and “Fratello in Arte” of his brother-in-law Simone Martini is gaining acceptance. Research in the 1920s began to separate the works of Lippo Memmi from those of Guido da Siena, it was accepted that an artist bearing the name Barna was a fellow student under Simone Martini and an artistic collaborator with Memmi. In attributing the panel of St. Agnes to Memmi, Heaton states that it is “...a panel endowed with unity of design and characteristics found in the works of an artist not possessing a more independent, creative personality than is predicated of Lippo Memmi”. The New Testament cycle of frescos in the Collegiate Church of San Gimignano, though to date from the 1340s, are now attributed to Lippo Memmi.
Traditionally they were attributed to Barna of Siena, but it is thought now that this artist never existed though the attribution dates from the writing of the Renaissance art biographer Giorgio Vasari. Vasari took the name from an earlier work by Ghiberti, but it is thought that "Barna" might have been wrongly transcribed from "Bartolo", referred to Bartolo di Fredi who painted the Old Testament cycle in the opposite aisle of the church; this suggests that other works attributed to Barna could be works of Memmi and thus his stylistic adherence to Simone Martini is less binding. The Memmi workshop began with Memmo di Filippucci, its early works, such as the 1317 San Gimignano Maestà in the Palazzo Comunale, are a collaboration of the two. In the 1330s the shop produced the Orvieto Polyptych panels. Lippo's brother Federigo Memmi belonged to the shop before 1343, during the time the New Testament cycle and other works attributed to "Barna of Siena" were produced. Simone Martini was the brother-in-law of Lippo.
After Lippo returned to Siena from Avignon there is little evidence of interaction with Simone Martini. The influence of Memmi's Assumption on Naddo Ceccarelli in his Rebel Angels suggests a more direct stylistic connection between the ideas emerging from Lippo's shop and the younger generation of Sienese a
Ravindra Shripad Kulkarni is an Indian mathematician, specializing in differential geometry. He is known for the Kulkarni–Nomizu product. Ravi S. Kulkarni received in 1968 his Ph. D. from Harvard University under Shlomo Sternberg with thesis Curvature and Metric. For the academic year 1980–1981 he was a Guggenheim Fellow. After a research and teaching career spanning over 40 years in the US at Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University, Indiana University, City University of New York, he returned to India as Distinguished Professor and Director of Harish-Chandra Research Institute, one of three research institutes for Mathematics and Theoretical Physics in India, followed by a 7-year stint at the Indian Institute of Technology as Mathematics Chair, he is interested in the philosophy of Mathematics and Science, notes he has “…not yet figured out the enigma of how Ramanujan’s mind worked”. He has served as the president of the Ramanujan Mathematical Society. Kulkarni, Ravindra S.. "Curvature structures and conformal transformations".
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