Botticelli (1445-1510) (Sandro Filipepi)

"Botticelli (1445-1510) (Sandro Filipepi)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 27th April 2011

Botticelli's self portrait

Sandro Filipepi named Botticelli, Italian painter, was born and died in Florence in 1445-1510. He was pupil of Lippi and later of Verrocchio; started with a series of Madonnas (Ajaccio, Mus.Fresch); (Paris, Louvre); (Florence, Acc.), their culmination was Madonna del Roseto (1468) (Paris, Louvre), which was surpassed already in Fortezza (1470) (Flotence, Uffizi), executed for the Tribunal of Merchants, and in San Sebastiano (1474) (Berlin, Staatl.Mus.).

(see: Upper image of Botticelli's self portrait, a fragment from "Adorazione dei Magi")

During the years, when Botticelli opened his own studio and was introduced to Medici family, he created some of his masterpieces: Pala delle Convertite (1470) (Florence, Uffizi); Dittico di Giuditta (1472-1473) (Florence, Uffizi); two Adorazioni dei Magi (Florence, Uffizi (1475) and London, Nat.Gall. (1473)); and finally Primavera (see on the right) (Uffizi) (1478) executed for the Villa of Castello di Lorenzo de'Medici.
botticelli-calunnia botticelli-compianto botticelli-derelitta
This last together with later Pallade and il Centauro and Nascita di Venere (see on the left) could be considered a kind of cycle, expressing the refined humanistic atmosphere of the court of Lorenzo il Magnifico.

In 1481 Botticelli was called in Rome to fresco the Sistine Chapel: Mose' e le figlie di Jetro, La punizione di Core and Le prove di Cristo; and to depict some figures of popes. The work was finished in summer of 1482.
botticelli-nascita botticelli-primavera
The other group of great works was created after 1480, among them are: Adorazione dei Magi (circa1482) (Washington, Nat.Gall.); Madonna del Magnificat (circa1485) (Florence, Uffizi); Madonna del Libro (1483) (Milan, Mus.Poldi Pezzoli).

Later works: Madonna e santi (1485) (Berlin, Staatl.Mus.); Madonna della melagrana (1487) (Florence, Uffizi); Madonna col Bambino e san Giovannino (1490-1495) (Edinburgh, Nat.Gall.of Scotland), two Compianti di Cristo (1490-1500) ((Milan, Poldi Pezzoli) (see on the right) and Monaco di Baviera (Pinacoteca)) discover Botticelli's new religious passion and expressive research which led to complex Pala di San Marco (1490) (Florence, Uffizi) and illustration drawings for the Divina Commedia (94, divided between the Vatican Library and Room of Printing in Berlin).

Involved in a deep mystical crisis, coincided with the fall of humanistic ideals and preaching of Savonarola, Botticelli created the real "pictures of pieta' ": Madonna (1490) (Dresden, Gemaldegal); Madonna del Padiglione (circa1495) (Milan, Pin.Ambrosiana); Pieta' (circa1495) (Milan, Mus.Poldi Pezzoli), and illustrated the subjects of complex symbolism: Calunnia di Apelle (see on the left) (1495) (Florence, Uffizi); Storie di donne illustri (circa1500) (Bergamo, Acc.Carrara, and Boston, I.Stewart Gardner Mus.); La derelitta (see below) (circa1495) (Rome, Coll.Pallavicini).

His last works: Nativita' (1501) (London, Nat.Gall.); Crocifissione (1500-1505) (Cambridge, Fogg Mus.) have got some archaic signs of the ideals, condemned and no longer appreciated.

Speaking in general, Botticelli's artistic life could be divided into two big phases:
1470-1485 - period of blooming humanistic Florence.
1485-1510 - period of pseudo-classical culture of Medici court in the end of 15th century.

Among the other minor artistic activity of the master should be noticed drawings for tapestry and embroidery, engravings (now lost) prepared for the printed edition of Inferno (Hell) by Dante.

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