Sandro Botticelli
Italian, 1444-1510
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Collected by a major museum
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Selected exhibitions
2018
Truth and Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters,
Legion of Honor
2016
Botticelli Reimagined,
Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A)
2015
The Botticelli Renaissance,
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister

Born Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, Sandro Botticelli (“botticello” meaning “little barrel”) created some of the most celebrated paintings of the early Italian Renaissance, including the Primavera (ca. 1478), Venus and Mars (1485) and The Birth of Venus (ca. 1486). Under the patronage of the Medici, the most powerful family in Florence, he became renowned for his graceful portraits of Florentine aristocracy and ecclesiastical and mythical figures dressed in filmy drapery, which seem to float weightlessly against their backgrounds. Diverging from many of his contemporaries’ interest in naturalistic depictions and anatomy, Botticelli often rendered his subjects with elongated limbs and hands delineated through subtle use of contour, thereby inventing a style that foregrounded Mannerism and influenced generations of artists from the Pre-Raphaelites to contemporary artists like John Currin.

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