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The Life and Works of Sandro Botticelli

By Jolena Wong, Hugh Mac Neill, and Kimberly Yu

Hugh Mac Neill

on 26 February 2014

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Transcript of The Life and Works of Sandro Botticelli

The Life and Works of Sandro Botticelli
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli.
Sandro Botticelli was born 1445 in Florence and died in 1510.
He was an Italian Renaissance painter.
As a child he was apprenticed to a goldsmith, and he later trained with Fra Filippo Lippi.
He was soon under the patronage of the De' Medici family, which helped increase his popularity as an artist.
By 1470 he had developed a unique style and was recognized as a master.
In 1481 he was among a team of artists called to Rome to decorate the Sistine Chapel.
Though, as a painter of religious images, his mythological paintings are his best-known works.
His greatest works are” the Primavera”, “Pallas” and the “Centaur”, “Venus and Mars”, and “The Birth of Venus”. But unfortunately only a few of his paintings survived, many of which are in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence now.

Early Life
Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi Botticelli, also known as Sandro Botticelli, was born on May 17, 1510 in Florence, Italy.
Botticelli got his name from his brother who was nicknamed the small barrel .
Botticelli started his career at the age of 14 where he was apprenticed to Fra Filippo Lippi who was known for detailed artistic technique.
Delicate expressions on the faces of Botticelli's models and his decorative approach led to his growing notoriety as an artist.
By the age of 15, he was able to open a workshop of his own.
His talent led to a distinctive artistic style, which was epitomized by life-like figures with a sad or melancholic style.
He appealed many tastes by blending his Christianity and Greek mythology works into his paintings.
Mid Life
One critical thought has held Botticelli as a decadent artist, connected with the culture embodied in Lorenzo the Great who was a poet, philosopher, and sophisticate in Florence.
There were misreadings of Botticelli that have stressed his Florentine concern for solidly modeled form and religious exposition.
He faced criticism, and his admiration for his work had subsequently declined.
In his late years, Botticelli was crippled and failed to receive commissions, but he still continued to work on his set of drawings illustrating Dante's Divine Comedy, a painting that was never finished.
Botticelli's pigments were of the finest of his time, and were generally applied in thin, opaque layers known as "scumbles". The reds and dark greens were frequently glazed.
Unfortunately, many of Botticelli's paintings have lost the fullness of their beauty over time because his colors became more transparent, and his colors changed over the years.
Copper resinate, for example, which Botticelli employed extensively, turned from green to brown, resulted in loss of light and shade.
The faces of his women are pale and porcelain-like, with the faintest pink blushes in the areas of the cheeks, nose and mouth. Botticelli's infants and children are endowed with intensely color The men appear with darker flesh modeled, which sometimes remains visible and reinforces the more pronounced male bone structure and such features as the eye cavities.

The Birth of Venus
Created: 1486
Height: 172.50 cm
Length: 278.50 cm
Medium: Tempera
Support: Canvas

History of The Birth of Venus
Lorenzo Medici would create groups of artists, poets, and tradesmen to discuss new pieces of art
The idea was not originally Botticelli, but by Leonardo Medici
It was first put into words by one of the Medici poets
Then Botticelli translated this poem into The Birth of Venus
This piece was based on an ode to Hesiod.
The myth is about the birth of the Roman Goddess Venus. She is shown emerging from the sea on a seashell. One popular legend was that she was born from the genitals of Uranus, after they were cut off by Cronus.
The painting depicts a naked Venus, and two wind gods, Zephyr and Aura, blowing her to shore.
One of the Graces is standing on the shore, ready to cover Aphrodite with a cloak.

Venus symbolized the coming of spring
At the time, most artwork was Christian themed, and this painting strays away from that by depicting a nude Roman goddess
Botticelli made many aspects of the masterpiece to appear in motion. For example Venus flowing hair, or the flying wind gods.
This piece is similar to the Venus of Medici, which Botticelli studied at the time

this was a very large canvas to use at the time
The painting is similar to a fresco, and has survived quite nicely, with very few cracks
When mixing the tempera paints, he used a small amount of fat compared to egg whites, which was also unusual at the time

Venus of Medici
Technique of Renaissance Artists
History of the Primavera
Commissioned by the Medici family
One of the largest mythological paintings in the beginning of the Renaissance
The theme was centered around sensuality and fertility
supposedly given to a bride from the Medici

shows nine figures all from Greek or Roman mythology
The main figure is Venus, Goddess of Love
Also depicts her son, Cupid
Cupid was infamous for trying to break up marriages
Venus is surrounded by her three graces. These graces symbolize grace, beauty and love.
This painting is a transition from the Birth of Venus. Venus is now a clothed woman compared to the naked Goddess
This painting shows a celebration of marriage, symbolized with oranges and flowers
The plethora of oranges symbolizes the hope for many children

Created: 1482
Alternative Name: Allegory of Spring
Height: 203 cm
Length: 314 cm
Medium: Tempera
Support: Other

Medici Family
After Botticelli's training with Frà Filippo Lippi, Botticelli fell in with the Florentine rulers of the day, the De’ Medici family.
He received commissions for classical works, including the Birth of Venus and Primavera. At the same time he worked on a religious body of works.
The fame and the fortune that Botticelli gained through his career was all from the legacy of the Medici family.
Botticelli worked for the Medici’s, who is very wealthy family and controlled Florence throughout much of the Renaissance, played a large part in the patronage of the arts and the political development of the city.
The Medici’s influenced Botticelli’s fame and was asked by the Papacy to travel to Rome to paint parts of the Sistine Chapel. This was shared by some of the Renaissance's greatest artists, such as Ghirlandaio, Perugino and even Michelangelo.
During Botticelli's era the Papacy was the most respected of art critics.
Papal was the best support for any developing artist and an opportunity to paint one of Rome's greatest monuments. And The Sistine Chapel, was the highest of all.
After Lorenzo De’ Medici died in 1492, Botticelli stopped producing classical works.
It was a tough time for him and as things changed in Florence, he tried to keep up. He took on many difficult tasks that others turned down.
His paintings were full of emotion raging from violence to grace and compassion.
Botticelli died at the age of 65 in Florence in 1510.
When Botticelli was 14, his father placed him under the artistic direction of Filippo Lippi, one of the most admired Florentine masters of that time.
Lippi's painting styles, formed in the early Florentine Renaissance, it was essential to Botticelli's own artistic formation and the master's influence that is obvious in most of Botticelli's works.
Lippi taught Botticelli the techniques of panel painting and fresco painting along with giving him control of linear perspectives.
After Lippi left Florence, Botticelli worked to improve the style he had developed with his teacher.
Because of this, he studied the sculptural style of Antonio Pollaiuolo and Andrea del Verrocchio, the leading Florentine painters of the 1460s.
It was under their influence that Botticelli produced figures of sculptural roundness and strength.
By Hugh MacNeil
Jolena Wong
Kimberly Yu

Adoration of the Magi

Created: 1475
Height: 110 cm
Length: 134 cm
Medium: Tempera
Support: Other


◦Shows figures kneeling figures adoring the Holy Family
◦The three wise men are present with gifts for Jesus
◦All the garments painted were from Botticelli’s time


◦According to “Art in Focus” Botticelli used Line, Proportion, and Emphasis to show the central image in the painting.
◾Line: Every line is clearly drawn and the wrinkles and folds in the figures clothing is extremely detailed and intricate
◾Proportion: Mary portrays a sense of elegance in this piece. This is shown by her posture and stance
◾Emphasis: There are many geometric aspects in The Adoration of the Magi. A triangle is clearly show that forms around Mary, Jesus, and the Magi. Also the letter W is seen between the Magi attendants.


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