Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli (born in 1445 and died in May 1510) was one of the most acclaimed painters of the Florentine Renaissance. He is best known for his works of art, The Birth of Venus and Primavera which are often said to epitomize the spirit of the Renaissance. Being the great artist that he was, he was also summoned to take part in the decoration of the Sistine Chapel in Rome and was supported by the leading families of Florence, including the Medici.
Despite the reputation he built throughout his career, by the time of his death, his reputation was on the decline. At the time, his works were overshadowed by the new styles of Perugino and Francesco Francia, and even more so by the High Renaissance paintings of Michelangelo and Raphael. Around this time, Botticelli's name had disappeared, until his works were reassessed once again in the 1890s.
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The Birth of Venus, 1485
Spring (Primavera), 1482
Botticelli's artistic and financial high point was reached during his middle years. He received the money and the fame as a result of the Medici family's patronage. As a result of this connection, Botticelli was asked to travel to Rome in order to paint parts of the Sistine Chapel.
Adoration of the Magi, 1500
The Virgin and the Child with Four Angels and Six Saints, 1488
Being given the honor of decorating the Chapel was only extended to some of the Renaissance's greatest artists such as Perugino and Michelangelo.
Portrait of Giuliano de' Medici, 1475
Madonna and Child with an Angel, 1465-1467
In his early works, his art followed the popular style in Florence which placed importance on the human figure rather than on space. His early works often depict his subjects as melancholy and thoughtful.
The Story of Nastagia degli Onesti II,1483
The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping Christ Child, 1490
Such qualities are exhibited in some of his best known works such as Spring and Birth of Venus. These works of art were executed for the estate of a cousin of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici.
Holy Trinity, 1491-1493
The Trials of Moses, 1481-1482
From 1490 onwards, Botticelli concentrated on paintings with numerous small figures, making the entire picture surface appear more alive. Works that provide examples of this new method include the Calumny of St Jerome, the Crucifixion and the Last Communion of St Jerome.
The Mystic Nativity, 1500
Last Communion of St Jerome, 1495
Halfway through the first decade of the 16th century, Botticelli's art would have seemed old fashioned, in comparison to the works of Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
The Temptations of Christ, 1481-1482
Venus and Mars,1485
After he became crippled in his later years, he failed to receive painting assignments. In fact, it is believed that Botticelli's art may have become obsolete in 1504, when Raphael came to Florence to observe the new models of Leonardo and Michelangelo.
St Augustine, 1480
Last Miracle and the Death of St Zenobius, 1500-1505