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Artists Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli Photo

Sandro Botticelli

Italian Painter

Movement: Early Renaissance

Born: c.1445 - Florence, Italy

Died: May 17, 1510 - Florence, Italy

Sandro Botticelli Timeline

Quotes

"...he was the only painter of Italy who thoroughly felt and understood Dante; and the only one who also understood the thoughts of the Heathens and Christians equally, and could in a measure paint both Aphrodite and the Madonna. So that he is on the whole, the most universal of painters; and take him all in all, the greatest Florentine workman."
John Ruskin
"By throwing a sponge soaked with different colors at a wall one can make a spot in which a beautiful landscape can be seen."
Sandro Botticelli
"Sandro's drawing was much beyond the common level... [and that other artists] strove to obtain examples."
Giorgio Vasari
"I wear myself out trying to render the orange trees so that they're not stiff but like those I saw by Botticelli in Florence. It's a dream that won't come true."
Berthe Morisot
"Ah! Botticelli! Botticelli! The elegance and grace of suffering passion, the profound feeling of sadness in voluptuousness! All our modern soul apprehended and transposed, with the most disquieting enchantment that ever came from an artist's creation."
Writer Emile Zola's Narcisse character

"Sandro di Botticelli is an excellent painter of panel paintings and frescoes; they are painted in a vigorous style, with the soundest judgement and perfect proportion."

Synopsis

Botticelli was perhaps the greatest humanist painter of the Early Renaissance, yet much of his life and influences remain a mystery to us today. His paintings represent the pinnacle of the cultural flourishing of the Medicis' Florence, a prosperous society that encouraged the progress of art, philosophy and literature. Throughout his long career he was commissioned to paint many different subjects, but at the heart of his work he always strove towards beauty and virtue, the qualities represented by the goddess Venus, who is the subject of many of his most famous paintings.

Key Ideas

Influenced by the revival of Greek and Roman ideas in Florence at the time, Botticelli was one of the first Western artists since classical times to depict non-religious subject matter. The idea that art could be for pleasure, and not only serve religious purposes was a breakthrough for Western art.
Botticelli bridged the gap between the Medieval Gothic style of painting and an emerging Humanist Realism. His work incorporated an emerging knowledge of human anatomy and perspective, yet it retains a decorative quality, not found in the work of artists of the succeeding High Renaissance, or for a long time afterwards. He aimed to achieve the ideal of beauty in his paintings, and he parted with realism if a more imaginative form better served the overall aesthetic idea.
His exploration of emotional depth in traditional Christian subjects was unique at a time when religious art was largely iconographic. He painted his subjects in a way that made them relatable to an ordinary person, emphasizing the human relationships between them. This is particularly evident in his early Madonna and Child paintings; there is a warmth and tenderness between mother and child that is distinctive of Botticelli.

Biography

Sandro Botticelli Photo

Childhood

Sandro Botticelli was born Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi. His date of birth is not certain, but his father, who worked as a tanner, submitted tax returns that claimed Botticelli was two years old in 1447 and 13 years old in 1458. Therefore, art historians have assumed that he was born around 1445.

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Sandro Botticelli Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Sandro Botticelli
Interactive chart with Sandro Botticelli's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

MasaccioMasaccio
Filippo Lippi
Andrea del Verrocchio
Pollaiuolo

Personal Contacts

Movements

Classical ArtClassical Art
Gothic Art and ArchitectureGothic Art and Architecture

Influences on Artist
Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
Years Worked: 1464 - 1510
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Filippo Lippi
Dante Gabriel RossettiDante Gabriel Rossetti
William MorrisWilliam Morris
Andy WarholAndy Warhol
Cindy ShermanCindy Sherman

Personal Contacts

Movements

RenaissanceRenaissance
The Pre-RaphaelitesThe Pre-Raphaelites
Pop ArtPop Art

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Cite this page

Content compiled and written by Anna Souter

Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

" Artist Overview and Analysis". [Internet]. . TheArtStory.org
Content compiled and written by Anna Souter
Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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