NEW YORK, NY.- Filippino Lippi (1457-1504) is one of the great artists of 15th-century Florence. Among his principal patrons was the wealthy banker Filippo Strozzi (14281491), who in 1487 contracted the artist to decorate his funerary chapel in Santa Maria Novella with an outstanding cycle of frescoes. Around the same time, Strozzi also commissioned a Madonna and Child for his villa at Santuccio, west of the city. This work was acquired from the Duveen firm in 1928 by Jules Bache and was bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum in 1949. In preparation for an exhibition on the artist that will be held in Rome next year, the picture was taken to conservation for examination this fall. A test cleaning revealed that beneath a thick, discolored varnish there was a beautifully preserved, richly colored painting.