Sandro Botticelli (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Botticelli has been celebrated for the linear flow of his paintings and for the graceful and thoughtful cast of so much of his work. One of the greatest colorists of Renaissance painting, Botticelli created idealized figures that suggest great spirituality and somewhat less interest in humanity than was depicted in the works of many of his contemporaries.
Sandro Botticelli was born Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi. Not much is known about his childhood or family life, except that, like many Florentine painters, he came from the artisan class. He grew up in an international city, already renowned for its art and commerce, for its wool and silk products, and for its bankers and princes—the Medicis, who determined much of the city’s politics and art and who would become his patrons. Around 1460, Botticelli was apprenticed to Fra Filippo Lippi, one of the greatest Florentine painters of the early Renaissance. Known especially for his coloring and draftsmanship, he was to exert a lifelong influence on Botticelli’s work. Lippi conveyed enormous human interest in his religious paintings, a characteristic Botticelli emulated while expressing a much more exquisite sensitivity to the devotional aspects of his subjects.
Botticelli’s earliest commissioned paintings date from about 1470. The figure of Fortitude, now in the Uffizi in Florence, reveals many of his mature...
(The entire section is 1929 words.)
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