* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project
+ BOTTICELLI Birth name: Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi. Born: c. 1445 Florence, Italy Death: May 17, 1510 (aged 64–65) Florence, Italy. + Early Life The youngest of five children, Botticelli’s father, a tanner, allowed him to become an apprentice to a goldsmith. During this apprenticeship, the goldsmith he worked with gave him the name Botticelli, meaning ‘little barrel’ One of his elder brothers, Antonio, who afterwards became a bookseller, was at this time in business as a goldsmith and gold-leaf beater, and with him Sandro was very probably first put to work + Education Sandro convinced his father that he wanted to study painting and was chosen to be apprentice to the well known painter Fra Filippo Lippi Lippi was well known for how he used color on church altarpieces and helped Sandro discover a similar style for his own work. Sandro Botticelli developed tender expressions in his subjects face and in their gestures. He also used decorative details that were influenced by his training. By the time he was 15 years old, he was able to open a workshop dedicated to his own work. + Influences One of Sandro's earliest works, "Adoration of the Magi" at the National Gallery, London , shows him almost entirely under the influence of his first master. Left in Florence on Fra Filippo's departure to Spoleto, he can be traced gradually developing his individuality under various influences, among which that of the realistic school of the Pollaiuoii is for some time the strongest. From that school he acquired a knowledge of bodily structure and movement. + Style His portraits seemed to have a melancholy or sad characteristic to them. Sandro stressed line and detail using them to bring his characters alive – as if acting out a scene. He painted religious figures. He included in his style a flowing characteristic that would clearly identify work as his. Botticelli also included NeoPlatonism in his work. This meant that he would bring together in one painting ideas that belong to both Christianity and pagan ideas which may have included mythology. One theme that Botticelli used over and over again was the idea of a very sad young girl that was detached from what was going on around her. This theme appeared in many of his portraits throughout his career. Another theme Botticelli liked tackling were the roles male and females played in society. Sometimes Sandro would show traditional roles, but other times, he showed females as the dominant, most important figure. + + Botticelli and the Medici Sandro Botticelli’s work was most in demand by the Medici Botticelli is thought to have used them as subjects for a large number of his works. They traveled in very important circles and introduced Botticelli to some of the most influential people. In these different settings, Sandro gathered material to use in his portraits and scene portrayals. The Medici family would pay huge sums of money for Botticelli’s work. Medici family + Personal Life/Culture In 1481, Botticelli was invited to Rome to take part in the painting of the Sistine Chapel. While there, Botticelli worked on several pieces in the Chapel. In all, Botticelli painted three large pieces, as well as seven portraits Sandro became a follower of the monk Savonarola who was a prominent civic leader in Florence. He stressed giving up all worldly things. He was very charismatic and often spoke of death and God’s wrath upon the people. Many of Botticelli’s previous paintings were considered ungodly and were burned along with objectionable books and playing cards. When Savonarola’s popularity ended, he was burnt in the center of Florence + Personal Life/Culture Botticelli’s later years seemed to be a disturbing time for him. As times changed in Florence, Botticelli tried to keep up. He often took on difficult commissions that other painters turned down. His rotating style reflected that Botticelli was struggling as a painter. His paintings were full of emotion raging from violence to grace and compassion. Sandro Botticelli died at the age of 65. his work lay forgotten for over 400 years after his death Botticelli never wed, and expressed a strong aversion to the idea of marriage, a prospect he claimed gave him nightmares. The popular view is that he suffered from unrequited love for Simonetta Vespucci a married noblewoman. She had served as the model for The Birth of Venus and recurs throughout his paintings, despite the fact that she had died years earlier, in 1476. Botticelli asked that when he die he be buried at her feet + THE BIRTH OF VENUS + Information Date of Creation: 1486 Height (cm): 172.50 Length (cm): 278.50 Medium: Tempera Support: Canvas Framed: No Art Movement: Renaissance Current Location: Florence, Italy Displayed at: Galleria degli Uffizi + Birth of Venus – Formal Framework Composition: Botticelli's Birth of Venus is one of the most treasured artworks of the Renaissance. In it the goddess Venus (known as Aphrodite in Greek mythology) emerges from the sea upon a shell aligned with the myth that explains her birth. Her shell is pushed to the shore from winds being produced by the wind-gods in amongst a shower of roses. As Venus is about to step onto the shore, a Nymph reaches out to cover her with a cloak. Venus is illustrated as a beautiful and chaste goddess and symbol of the coming spring. Her depiction as a nude is significant in itself, given that during this time in Renaissance history almost all artwork was of a Christian theme, and nude women were hardly ever portrayed. Many aspects of Botticelli's Birth of Venus are in motion. For example, the leaves of the orange trees in the background, ringlets of hair being blown by the Zephyrs, the roses floating behind her, the waves gently breaking, and the cloaks and drapery of the figures blown and lifted by the breeze. The pose of Botticelli's Venus is reminiscent of the Venus de Medici, a marble sculpture and gem inscription from Classical antiquity in the Medici collection which Botticelli had opportunity to study. + Birth of Venus – Formal Framework Use of technique: Botticelli's Venus was the first large-scale canvas created in Renaissance Florence. He prepared his own tempera pigments with very little fat and covered them with a layer of pure egg white in a process unusual for his time. His painting resembles a fresco in its freshness and brightness. It is preserved exceptionally well and the painting today remains firm and elastic with very little cracks. Colour palette: Venus's long golden hair sweeps gracefully about her. This use of gold may have been inspired by Donatello's Penitent Magdalen. Mood, tone and emotion: Birth of Venus is dependent on the delicacy of Botticelli's line. The proportions show their greatest exaggeration, yet the long neck and torrent of hair help to create the mystifying figure. + Birth of Venus – Cultural Framework It is in keeping with Renaissance era inspiration that one of Botticelli's most famous paintings represents not a Christian legend, but a classical myth - the Birth of Venus. Whilst the works of the classical poets had been known through the middle Ages, it was only at the time of the Renaissance, when the Italians tried so passionately to recapture the former glory of Rome that classical myths become popular among educated laymen. + Birth of Venus – Cultural Framework For the men of the Renaissance, the mythology of the Greeks and Romans represented a superior form of truth and wisdom. Whilst Botticelli carried out the artwork, it is highly likely that the commissioner (a member of the powerful Medici) provided the original source of inspiration and that either he, or one of his learned friends, explained to the artist what was the story, as recounted by the ancients regarding Venus rising from the sea. The story would have been seen as a symbol of mystery in which the divine message came into the world, and Botticelli has done his best to depict this myth in a worthy manner. + Summary Botticelli’s Birth of Venus owes its inspiration to the classical ideas and ideals of ancient Greece and Rome, which were becoming increasingly popular during the Early Renaissance in fifteenth-century Italy. The mythological figure of Venus was the symbol of female desirability and represented beauty and pleasure. Here she is shown being blown gently ashore by the winds soon after her ‘birth’ as a fullygrown woman. Her pose was inspired by the classical sculptures that Botticelli would have seen in the collection of his patrons, the Medici family. Painted at a time when naked women symbolised sinful lust, Botticelli’s Venus remained modest. He exaggerated the length of her neck and slope of her shoulders to enhance her natural elegance and grace, in accordance with contemporary taste.