Artists in the History

Sandro Botticelli

On the occasion of Sothebys’ sale this week of Botticelli’s rare one-figure portrait of a young man with a round handle, expected to be one of the most expensive old master paintings ever sold at auction, here’s a guide to a career as an artist and painter. When he was a teenager, Botticelli entered the studio of the painter Fra Filippo Lippi.

As is often the case with Renaissance artists, Botticelli’s posthumous fame suffered until the end of the 19th century when it was rediscovered by the pre-Raphaelites, who demanded a reappraisal. Most modern information about the life and character of Botticelli comes from the lives of Giorgio Vasaris of the most notable artists, sculptors and architects, supplemented and corrected by documents.

The pictorial style of Lippis, formed during the early Florentine Renaissance, was fundamental to Botticelli’s artistic training and its influence is also evident in the last works of his students: Lippi taught Botticelli the technique of painting with wood and frescoes and gave him confident control over linear perspective. A hallmark of Lippis style is evident in Sandros’ early paintings such as the Madonna and Child in the Innocenti Hospital in Florence and the Madonna and Child with an angel at

Works from this period include the Madonna and Child in the Louvre Museum in Paris (b.Tommaso Soderini was commissioned for a fortress figurine 1470, which is the earliest dated painting by Botticelli with certainty, completing a series of seven virtues left unfinished by Piero Pollaiuolo The Mystical Nativity, the only painting of Botticelli to bear a real date if expressed mysteriously, dates from the end of 1500,

Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Filippino Lippi worked with Perugino on an important cycle of frescoes for Lorenzo the Magnificent in Spedalletto near Volterra, and he was one of the most representative artists of the Florentine culture.

He painted a wide range of religious subjects and even several portraits in addition to the small number of mythological subjects he is most famous for today.

It is often said that his “Birth of Venus” (c. 1485) and “Primavera” (c. 1480; Spring) embody the spirit of Renaissance for the modern viewer, although his elongated and seemingly weightless figures and rather flat spaces are at odds with naturalism.

When Botticelli devoted himself to painting at the relatively young age of 18, his own workshop was already established which helped shape his characteristic artistic style. Savonarola encouraged the burning of many of his paintings and works considered unholy, and as a follower of Savonarola Botticelli participated in the destruction of many of his paintings.

Eventually, according to art historian Giorgio Vasari, Botticelli taught Filippino Lippi, the son of Lippis, after a monk sex a young woman named Lucrezia Buit, probably a novice in a convent, while she apparently posed for a painting for their chapel after the death of her mentors, although nothing is written on the painting until 1550 when Giorgio Vasari was made the sculpture.

Soon after his return to Florence Botticelli began work on two of his most famous works: Primavera (late 1470 — early 1480) and The Birth of Venus (around 1486). Vasari saw these works in the villa of Pierfrancesco de Medici and it was long believed that the works were intended for this place, but art critics today are not sure about the origin and patrons of these two paintings.

After Sandro returned from Rome in 1482, he began a series of mythological paintings that form the basis of Botticelli’s current fame as an artist and are fine examples of Renaissance art. They represent some of the most talked about and familiar images in the history of Renaissance art and have the linear beauty that characterizes this stage in artists’ careers.

Botticelli’s most famous work is the well-spoken birth of Venus from 1485, painted for the villa of Lorenzo Medici and now is in the Uffizi in Florence. The return of the sun inspired us to take a look at Botticelli Primavera, an early Renaissance masterpiece and perhaps the most popular artistic performance of the year, although his interpretation remains inconclusive as we will see.

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