Filippino was the son of the Italian painter Fra’ Filippo Lippi (1406 – 1469). Trained by his father until his death, another of Fillippo’s pupils, Sandro Botticelli (1444 – 1510), carried through the apprenticeship. Lippi studied in Botticelli’s workshop up until 1473 and did not develop his own distinct style until about 1480.
Lippi continued to paint with his teacher and other contemporaries, such as Pietro Perugino (1446 - 1524) and Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449 – 1494). Together, Botticelli, Perugino, Ghirlandaio and Lippi painted the frescos for Lorenzo de Medici’s (1449 – 1492) villa in Spedaletto. Lippi was part of the Medici Family’s great patronage for Florentine arts, including Verrocchio (1435 – 1488), Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) and Michelangelo (1475 – 1564), among many others.
Lippi was also commissioned to finish the frescos for the Brancacci Chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence, which the artist Masaccio (1401 – 1428) had left unfinished in death. Of Lippi’s contributions here was his completion of Raising of the Son of Teophilus and St. Peter Enthroned, and his original works, St. Paul Visiting St. Peter in Prison, St Peter Being Freed from Prison and Disputation with Simon Magus and Crucifixion of St. Peter. Lippi also completed frescos in the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence, left unfinished by Perugino, though these works did not survive. Later in Rome, on the referral of Lorenzo de’ Medici, Lippi did fresco work for Cardinal Oliviero Carafa’s (1430 – 1511) Chapel in the Stanta Maria sopra Minerva.
Lippi’s most acclaimed works were often his altarpieces, including The Vision of St. Bernard or Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Bernard, a highly detailed work, painted with a Flemish influence. He also painted Stories of Saint John Evangelist and Saint Philip for the Santa Maria Novella in Florence. Lippi brought his refined style back to the patronage of Medici, creating Death of Lacocoön or Sacrifice of Lacocoön for his villa in Poggio a Caiano. He also painted, Apparition of Christ to Madonna, Adoration of the Magi for the Church of San Donato in Scopeto (now at Uffizi), and Saint John the Baptist and Maddalena for the San Procolo in Florence.
In his later years, Lippi painted in Pavia in Lombardy and Prato in Tuscany, creating his Tabernacle of the Christmas Song and Mystic Wedding of Saint Catherine. His last work, Deposition, commissioned for the Santissima Annuziata in Florence was left unfinished. It is said that when Lippi died in Florence, he was so loved in the city that many shops closed the day of his burial.