View Sandro Botticelli in Art History See His Art and Famous Paintings


"Scenes from the Life of Moses” Sandro Botticelli, 1481-82

Sandro Botticelli, 1445-1510, one of Italy's famous artists in art history Italian master artist in art history, was an assistant to Fra Filippo Lippi. He later worked in the studio of Verrocchio along with Leonardo da Vinci. Bottecelli understood the popular style of art of his time, the mathematical scientific perspective of Alberti and others, but chose to go his own way.

Botticelli was able to paint his mythological art subject matter at the court of Lorenzo, in Florence, which seemed inclined to revive antiquity. Contrary to the Albertian three-dimensional perspective, Botticelli’s orthogonal lines don’t always connect at a single point and produce and idealistic depth. Physical forms and linear edges sometimes mysteriously soften and disappear into thin air totally unrelated to atmospheric perspective.

In Sandro Botticelli’s more mythological painting, "Primavera", 1478, his female figures are linear, elongated, weightless, and not solidly connected to the ground. Title: The figures are delicate in color, rhythmic, graceful having lavish patterns of art decoration in a dream-like, world.

Describing Botticelli’s famous art, Mercury on the far left reaches for the sky. Next to Mercury the Three Graces are dancing, touching upraised hands. Cupid hovers over the Madonna-like figure blindly shooting arrows of love at the Three Graces while Zephyrus, the wind god, chases the nymph Chloris. Beautiful flowers are flowing from the mouth of Cloris. Cloris is in mid trans- formation into Flora the goddess of Spring, seen fully transformed directly to the left casting flowers from her patterned dress.

Viewing Sandro Botticelli's art, , 1475, culture and intellect are elevated above violence. The beautiful Venus lies seductively on the ground capturing Mars’ concentration while the baby satyrs play with his armor and a spear. Title: A satyr blows a conch shell in Mars' ear lulling him to sleep and further inaction.
Around 1482, Botticelli painted another mythological art painting, . Pallus, or Minerva (goddess of reason) advances toward the centaur and grabs it by the hair. The Centaur cringes possibly symbolizing the dark side of human nature that must be tamed by divine wisdom.

The "Birth of Venus", 1482, painted on canvas was originally meant to be seen together with the "Primavera". Title: The illumination in the "Birth of Venus" comes in from the right and the light source in the "Primavera" is reversed.

Sandro Botticelli’s "Birth of Venus” recounts actual birth of Venus from the sea, fertilized divinely from the severed genitals of Saturn. The birth is an allegory depicting the origin of beauty in the mind of man.

Venus arises from the sea blown by the wind gods toward shore where she will be robed by a waiting Hour. The atmosphere of the painting is totally clear, contrary to Renaissance trends. The figures are not full-bodied and flat, insignificant in the face of Botticilli's linear qualities.

Botticelli's "Annunciation", 1489/90 is art reflecting his interest in religion. Title: The tree, central in the open door, represents a quotation from the Bible, "A shoot shall grow from Jesse's rod", foretelling the tree of the cross. Mary swoons to the news told by the angel referencing the Biblical text, "her heart was disturbed within her".

Another of Sandro Botticelli’s paintings in art history "Mystical Nativity", 1500, is painted in reference to Revelation chapter eleven and twelve. Title: The circular dance of the angels above the Nativity is a symbol of eternity, while the figures chained under rocks in the lower foreground is referenced in Revelation chapter twelve, “all devils will be chained under the rocks”. Some of Botticelli’s famous art take on religious themes whose total iconography remains a mystery today. Other famous artists of the Renaissance are Titian and Giorgione.

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