Botticelli, Sandro

(Alessandro di Moriano Filipepi; 1445-1510)
   Botticelli (little barrel) was a nickname first given to the artist's brother who was presumably overweight. Botticelli was trained in the studio of Fra Filippo Lippi alongside Lippi's son Filippino. He also worked in Andrea del Verrocchio's studio alongside Leonardo da Vinci. From this background one would expect an artist who used the latest advances in perspective, fore-shortening, and anatomy. Yet, Botticelli rejected the naturalistic methods of contemporary masters, instead opting for lyrical representations not necessarily dependent on visual truth. His Adoration of the Magi (early 1470s; Florence, Uffizi), commissioned by Guasparre del Lama for the Church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, does not rely on one-point linear perspective, but rather on several simultaneous viewpoints. This work owes to Benozzo Gozzoli's Procession of the Magi in the chapel of the Palazzo Medici in that it too represents the members of the Confraternity of the Magi engaging in procession, including Cosimo de' Medici, his sons Piero the Gouty and Giovanni, and his grandsons Lorenzo and Giuliano.
   In 1481, Botticelli was called to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV to work alongside Pietro Perugino, Domenico del Ghirlandaio, and others on the wall frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, Vatican. The scenes were to represent subjects from the life of Moses that pre-figured that of Christ and asserted the pope's divinely sanctioned right to lead the Church. Though the program turned out to be somewhat of a fiasco as severe stylistic and compositional discrepancies exist between the scenes, Botticelli's contribution, the Punishment of Korah, Dathan, andAbiram (1481-1482), is among the best in the commission. In 1482, Botticelli's father died and the artist was forced to return to Florence. The papal commission he received placed him among the most sought-after masters of the Early Renaissance. In the 1480s he painted a series of important mythological works for the Medici, believed to reflect the Neoplatonic thought that permeated their court. His Primavera, Pallas, and the Centaur (both c. 1482; Florence, Uffizi), Birth of Venus (c. 1485; Florence, Uffizi), and Venus and Mars (c. 1482; London, National Gallery) have given art historians much topic for discussion as their subjects are not completely understood. What is understood, however, is that the works were meant for an erudite audience interested in literature and philosophy. The figures in these paintings, with their graceful, elongated forms, are of the same stock as Botticelli's Madonnas, among them the Madonna and Child with Adoring Angel (c. 1468, Pasadena, Norton Simon Museum), Madonna of the Magnificat (c. 1485; Florence, Uffizi), and Madonna of the Book (1483; Milan, Museo Poldi Pezzoli).
   In his late phase, Botticelli's palette became more brilliant, with an emphasis on primary colors, and emotive representations. These changes may have been the result of his involvement with Girolamo Savonarola, the ascetic Dominican monk who acted as prior of the San Marco Monastery after St. Antonine and who initiated a political movement against the Medici. Botticelli's two Lamentations (Milan, Museo Poldi Pezzoli and Munich, Altepinakothek) of the 1490s reveal this change in his style. In these paintings, Botticelli gave his figures a deep sense of sorrow to evoke compassion from the viewer. His Mystic Nativity (1500; London, National Gallery) is a work with a strange apocalyptic subject that is not completely understood and that represents a major departure from his usual poetic representations. Savonarola died in 1498 after excommunication from the Church, and Botticelli fell in disfavor because of his association with the monk. He died in obscurity, and was forgotten until the late 19th century when scholars rediscovered his works and gave him his rightful place in the history of Renaissance art.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Botticelli, Sandro — • Florentine painter (1447 1510) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Botticelli, Sandro — orig. Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi born 1445, Florence died May 7, 1510, Florence [Italy] Italian painter active in Florence. As a youth he may have been apprenticed to a goldsmith, and he later trained with Fra Filippo Lippi in Florence. By… …   Universalium

  • Botticelli, Sandro — (1444/5 1510)    Florentine painter most closely associated with the intellectual circle of Lorenzo de Medici in the later 15th century. A pupil of Fra Filippo Lippi, in his own time he was renowned for his draftsmanship and for the beauty of his …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Botticelli,Sandro — Bot·ti·cel·li (bŏt ĭ chĕlʹē), Sandro. Originally Alessandro di Mariano dei Filipepi. 1444? 1510. Italian painter of the Florentine school whose flowing draftsmanship is evident in his masterpieces, Primavera (c. 1477) and Birth of Venus (c. 1485) …   Universalium

  • Botticelli, Sandro — (c1444 Florence 5/17/1510 Florence) (Italy); aka nee Filipepi, Alessandro di Mariano    Painter, copper engraver, and illustrator. Studied under Fra Filippo Lippi and maybe Antonio Pollaiuolo. A major figure of the early Renaissance, his… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

  • Botticelli, Sandro — orig. Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi (1445, Florencia–7 may. 1510, Florencia [Italia]). Pintor italiano activo en Florencia. De joven puede haber sido aprendiz de orfebre, y luego tuvo como maestro a Fra Filippo Lippi en Florencia. En 1470 ya… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • BOTTICELLI, SANDRO —    or ALESSANDRO    a celebrated painter of the Florentine school; began as a goldsmith s apprentice; a pupil of Fra Lippo Lippi; the best known examples of his art are on religious subjects, though he was no less fascinated with classical… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Botticelli, Sandro —  (c. 1445–1510) Italian painter, born Alessandro di Mariano di Vannik Filipepi …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Botticelli, Sandro — soprannome di Filipepi, Alessandro di Mariano …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Botticelli, Sandro Filippo — ► (1445 1510) Pintor italiano discípulo de fra Filippo Lippi. Fue una de las grandes figuras del Renacimiento por su fino dibujo y original colorido. Fue un gran retratista: retrato de Lorenzo el Magnífico, el de su hermano Giuliano y el que se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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