Portrait of Sandro Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli Painting Reproductions Gallery 1 of 5

1445-1510

Italian Quattrocento Painter

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli ("little barrel") (March 1, 1444/45 - May 17, 1510) was an Italian painter of the Florentine school during the Early Renaissance (Quattrocento). Less than a hundred years later, this movement, under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici, was characterized by Giorgio Vasari as a "golden age", a thought, suitably enough, he expressed at the head of his Vita of Botticelli. His posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting, and The Birth of Venus and Primavera rank now among the most familiar masterpieces of Florentine art.

Youth
Details of Botticelli's life are sparse, but we know that he did not become an apprentice until he was about fourteen years old, which would indicate that he received a fuller education than did other Renaissance artists. Vasari reported that he was initially trained as a goldsmith by his brother Antonio. He then was apprenticed to Fra Filippo Lippi; many of his early works have been attributed to the elder master, and attributions continue to be uncertain. Influenced also by the monumentality of Masaccio's painting, it was from Lippi that Botticelli learned a more intimate and detailed manner. During this time, Boticelli could have traveled to Hungary, participating in the creation the recently discovered fresco ordered in the workshop of Fra Filippo Lippi by Janos Vitez, a Hungarian bishop.

By 1470 Botticelli had his own workshop. Even at this early date his work was characterized by a conception of the figure as if seen in low relief, drawn with clear contours, and minimizing strong contrasts of light and shadow which would indicate fully modeled forms.

Masterworks
The masterworks Primavera (c. 1478) and The Birth of Venus (c. 1485) were both seen by Vasari at the villa of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici at Castello in the mid-16th century, and until recently it was assumed that both works were painted specifically for the villa. Recent scholarship suggests otherwise: the Primavera was painted for Lorenzo's townhouse in Florence, and The Birth of Venus was commissioned by someone else for a different site. By 1499 both had been installed at Castello.

In these works the influence of Gothic realism is tempered by Botticelli's study of the antique. But if the painterly means may be understood, the subjects themselves remain fascinating for their ambiguity. The complex meanings of these paintings continue to receive scholarly attention, mainly focusing on the poetry and philosophy of humanists who were the artist's contemporaries. The works do not illustrate particular texts; rather, each relies upon several texts for its significance. Of their beauty, characterized by Vasari as exemplifying "grace", and by John Ruskin as possessing linear rhythm, there can be no doubt.

Maturity and later life
The Adoration of the Magi for Santa Maria Novella (c. 1475-1476, now at the Uffizi) contains the portraits of Cosimo de' Medici ("the finest of all that are now extant for its life and vigour"), his grandson Giuliano de' Medici, and Cosimo's son Giovanni. The quality of the scene was hailed by Vasari as one of Botticelli's pinnacles.

In 1481, Pope Sixtus IV summoned Botticelli and other prominent Florentine and Umbrian artists to fresco the walls of the Sistine Chapel. The iconological program was the supremacy of the Papacy. Sandro's contribution was moderately successful. He returned to Florence, and "being of a sophistical turn of mind, he there wrote a commentary on a portion of Dante and illustrated the Inferno which he printed, spending much time over it, and this abstension from work led to serious disorders in his living." Thus Vasari characterized the first printed Dante (1481) with Botticelli's decorations; he could not imagine that the new art of printing might occupy an artist.

In the mid-1480s Botticelli worked on a major fresco cycle with Perugino, Ghirlandaio, and Filippino Lippi, for Lorenzo the Magnificent's villa near Volterra; in addition he painted many frescoes in Florentine churches.

In 1491 Botticelli served on a committee to decide upon a facade for the Florence Duomo. In 1502 he was accused of sodomy, charges which were later dropped. In 1504 he was a member of the committee appointed to decide where Michelangelo's David would be placed. His later work, especially as seen in a series on the life of St. Zenobius, witnessed a diminution of scale, expressively distorted figures, and a non-naturalistic use of color reminiscent of the work of Fra Angelico nearly a century earlier.

Religion
In later life, Botticelli was one of Savonarola's followers, and burnt his own paintings on pagan themes in the notorious "Bonfire of the Vanities". Botticelli biographer Ernst Steinman searched for the artist's psychological development through his Madonnas. In the deepening of insight and expression in the rendering of Mary's physiognomy, Steinman discerns proof of Savonarola's influence over Botticelli. This means that the biographer needed to alter the dates of a number of Madonnas to substantiate his theory; specifically, they are dated ten years later than before. Steinman disagrees with Vasari's assertion that Botticelli produced nothing after coming under the influence of Girolamo Savonarola. Steinman believes the spiritual and emotional Virgins rendered by Sandro follow directly from the teachings of the Dominican monk.

Earlier, Botticelli had painted an Assumption of the Virgin for Matteo Palmieri in a chapel at San Pietro Maggiore in which, it was rumored, both the patron who dictated the iconic scheme and the painter who painted it, were guilty of unidentified heresy, a delicate requirement in such a subject. The heretical notions seem to be gnostic in character:
By the side door of San Piero Maggiore he did a panel for Matteo Palmieri, with a large number of figures representing the Assumption of Our Lady with zones of patriarchs, prophets, apostles, evangelists, martyrs, confessors, doctors, virgins, and the orders of angels, the whole from a design given to him by Matteo, who was a worthy and educated man. He executed this work with the greatest mastery and diligence, introducing the portraits of Matteo and his wife on their knees. But although the great beauty of this work could find no other fault with it, said that Matteo and Sandro were guilty of grave heresy. Whether this be true or not, I cannot say. (Giorgio Vasari)

This is a common misconception based on a mistake by Vasari. The painting referred to here, now in the National Gallery in London, is by the artist Botticini. Vasari confused their similar sounding names.

111 Botticelli Paintings

The Birth of Venus, c.1485 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

The Birth of Venus c.1485

Oil Painting
$3914
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: BSF-158
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 180 x 280 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

Primavera, c.1482 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Primavera c.1482

Oil Painting
$8726
Canvas Print
$82.33
SKU: BSF-159
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 203 x 314 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

The Cestello Annunciation, c.1489 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

The Cestello Annunciation c.1489

Oil Painting
$2409
Canvas Print
$73.37
SKU: BSF-160
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 150 x 156 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

Venus and Mars, c.1485 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Venus and Mars c.1485

Oil Painting
$2382
Canvas Print
$50.58
SKU: BSF-161
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 69.2 x 173.4 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Portrait of a Young Man, c.1480/85 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Young Man c.1480/85

Oil Painting
$1120
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: BSF-162
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 37.5 x 28.3 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

The Adoration of the Magi, c.1476 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

The Adoration of the Magi c.1476

Oil Painting
$7988
Canvas Print
$62.40
SKU: BSF-163
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 111 x 134 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

Portrait of a Young Man with a Medallion of Cosimo de' Medici, c.1470/75 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Young Man with a Medallion of ... c.1470/75

Oil Painting
$1411
Canvas Print
$63.36
SKU: BSF-164
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 57 x 44 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

The Adoration of the Magi, c.1478/82 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

The Adoration of the Magi c.1478/82

Oil Painting
$7977
Canvas Print
$50.58
SKU: BSF-165
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 70 x 104.2 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

Portrait of a Woman (The Beautiful Simonetta), 1475 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Woman (The Beautiful Simonetta) 1475

Oil Painting
$1191
Canvas Print
$61.64
SKU: BSF-166
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 61 x 40 cm
Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy

Portrait of a Young Woman, c.1475/80 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Young Woman c.1475/80

Oil Painting
$1544
Canvas Print
$60.19
SKU: BSF-167
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 55.4 x 43 cm
Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

Portrait of a Youth, c.1482/85 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Youth c.1482/85

Oil Painting
$1009
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: BSF-168
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 43.5 x 31.2 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington, USA

Athene and the Centaur, c.1480 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Athene and the Centaur c.1480

Oil Painting
$2723
Canvas Print
$90.59
SKU: BSF-169
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 207 x 148 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

Madonna and Child with Angel, c.1472/75 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Madonna and Child with Angel c.1472/75

Oil Painting
$2337
Canvas Print
$57.24
SKU: BSF-170
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 85.2 x 65 cm
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, USA

Madonna with the Book, 1483 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Madonna with the Book 1483

Oil Painting
$2503
Canvas Print
$58.03
SKU: BSF-171
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 58 x 39.6 cm
Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan, Italy

Virgin and Child, c.1490 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Virgin and Child c.1490

Oil Painting
$2000
Canvas Print
$80.00
SKU: BSF-5057
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 89 x 56 cm
Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA

Mystic Crucifixion, c.1500 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Mystic Crucifixion c.1500

Oil Painting
$1889
Canvas Print
$90.41
SKU: BSF-5058
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 72.4 x 51.4 cm
Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA

Saint Augustine in his Cell, 1490 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Saint Augustine in his Cell 1490

Oil Painting
$1544
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: BSF-6222
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 41 x 27 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

The Madonna del Padiglione, 1493 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

The Madonna del Padiglione 1493

Oil Painting
$2706
Canvas Print
$65.71
SKU: BSF-6223
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 65 x 65 cm
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy

Portrait of Giuliano de' Medici, c.1480 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of Giuliano de' Medici c.1480

Oil Painting
$1082
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: BSF-6224
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 60 x 41 cm
Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, Italy

The Coronation of the Virgin (Altarpiece of St Mark), c.1480 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

The Coronation of the Virgin (Altarpiece of St Mark) c.1480

Oil Painting
$12398
Canvas Print
$82.51
SKU: BSF-6225
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 378 x 258 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

Portrait of a Young Woman, 1485 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Young Woman 1485

Oil Painting
$2041
Canvas Print
$84.30
SKU: BSF-6226
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 81.8 x 54 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Dante and Beatrice, c.1480 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Dante and Beatrice c.1480

Paper Print
$48.02
SKU: BSF-6227
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: unknown
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France

Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist, undated by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist undated

Oil Painting
$2733
Canvas Print
$52.39
SKU: BSF-6228
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 134 x 92 cm
Palazzo Pitti, Florence, Italy

The Holy Trinity with St. John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Tobias and the Angel, c.1490/95 by Botticelli | Painting Reproduction

The Holy Trinity with St. John the Baptist, Mary ... c.1490/95

Oil Painting
$3369
Canvas Print
$83.68
SKU: BSF-6229
Sandro Botticelli
Original Size: 214 x 192.4 cm
Courtauld Institute of Art, London, United Kingdom

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