Sandro Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli (sän´drō bôt´tĬchĕl´lē), c.1444–1510, Florentine painter of the Renaissance, whose real name was Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi (älĕssän´drō dē märēä´nō fēlēpā´pē). He was apprenticed to Fra Filippo Lippi, whose delicate coloring can be seen in such early works as the Adoration of the Kings (National Gall., London) and Chigi Madonna (Gardner Mus., Boston). Elements of the more vigorous style of Pollaiuolo and Verrocchio soon entered his paintings, e.g., Fortitude (Uffizi), St. Augustine (Ognissanti), and Portrait of a Young Man (Uffizi). He was one of the greatest colorists in Florence and a master of the rhythmic line. He became a favorite painter of the Medici, whose portraits he included, in addition to a self-portrait, among the splendid figures in the Adoration of the Magi (Uffizi). In 1481 Pope Sixtus IV asked him to help decorate the Sistine Chapel. After painting three biblical frescoes he returned to Florence, where he reached the height of his popularity. Through the Medici he came into contact with the Neoplatonic circle and was influenced by the ideas of Ficino and Poliziano. His mythological allegories, Spring, Birth of Venus, Mars and Venus, and Pallas Subduing a Centaur, allude, in general, to the triumph of love and reason over brutal instinct. Probably in the 1490s he drew the visionary illustrations for the Divine Comedy. He painted a set of frescoes for the Villa Tornabuoni (Louvre) and created a series of radiant Madonnas, including the Magnificat and the Madonna of the Pomegranate (Uffizi). From Alberti's description, he re-created the famous lost work of antiquity, The Calumny of Apelles. Religious passion is evident in the Nativity (National Gall., London), Last Communion of St. Jerome (Metropolitan Mus.) and Pietà (Fogg Mus., Cambridge). In the 19th cent. the Pre-Raphaelites rediscovered him. Supported by Ruskin, they admired what they considered to be the extreme refinement and poignancy of his conceptions.

See studies by H. P. Horne (1908), L. Venturi (1949, repr. 1961), G. C. Argan (tr. by J. Emmons, 1957), and L. D. and H. Ettlinger (1985).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Sandro Botticelli: Selected full-text books and articles

Botticelli: Biographical and Critical Study By Giulio Carlo Argan; James Emmons Skira, 1957
Portraits and Masks in the Art of Lorenzo De' Medici, Botticelli, and Politian's 'Stanze per la Giostra.' By Dempsey, Charles Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 1, Spring 1999
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
The Italian Presence in American Art, 1860-1920 By Irma B. Jaffe Fordham University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "Celebrating Botticelli: The Taste for the Italian Renaissance in the United States, 1870-1920"
Looking at Pictures By Kenneth Clark Holt Rinehart and Winston, 1960
Librarian’s tip: "Botticelli: The Nativity" begins on p. 179
The Expanding Discourse: Feminism and Art History By Norma Broude; Mary D. Garrard Westview Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Botticelli's Primavera: A Lesson for the Bride"
The Eloquence of Symbols: Studies in Humanist Art By Edgar Wind; Jaynie Anderson Clarendon Press, 1993 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "The Subject of Botticelli's Derelitta"
FREE! Estimates in Art By Frank Jewett Mather Jr Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916
Librarian’s tip: Chap. II "Sandro Botticelli"
The Lives of the Artists By Giorgio Vasari; Julia Conaway Bondanella; Peter Bondanella Oxford University Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Sandro Botticelli begins on p. 224
FREE! The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry By Walter Pater MacMillan, 1912
Librarian’s tip: "Sandro Botticelli" begins on p. 50
A History of Italian Painting By Frank Jewett Mather Jr Henry Holt, 1923
Librarian’s tip: Chap. V "Dawn of the Golden Age: Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci"
FREE! How to Study Pictures By Charles H. Caffin Century, 1906
Librarian’s tip: Chap. V "Alessandro Botticelli, 1446-1510: Italian School of Florence"
The Art of John Updike's "A & P" By Saldivar, Toni Studies in Short Fiction, Vol. 34, No. 2, Spring 1997
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