ALESSANDRO DI MARIANO DI VANNI FILIPEPI, known as SANDRO BOTTICELLI
(Italian: ; c. 1445 – May 17, 1510), was an Italian painter of the
As well as the small number of mythological subjects which are his
best known works today, he painted a wide range of religious subjects
and also some portraits. He and his workshop were especially known for
their _Madonna and Child_s, many in the round tondo shape.
Botticelli's best-known works are _
The Birth of Venus _ and _Primavera
_, both in the
Only one of his paintings is dated, though others can be dated from
other records with varying degrees of certainty, and the development
of his style traced with confidence. He was an independent master for
all the 1470s, growing in mastery and reputation, and the 1480s were
his most successful decade, when all his large mythological paintings
were done, and many of his best Madonnas. By the 1490s his style
became more personal and to some extent mannered, and he could be seen
as moving in a direction opposite to that of a new generation of
painters, creating the High
He has been described as "an outsider in the mainstream of Italian painting", who had a limited interest in many of the developments most associated with Quattrocento painting, such as the realistic depiction of human anatomy, perspective, and landscape, and the use of direct borrowings from classical art. His training enabled him to represent all these aspects of painting, without contributing to their development.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Career before Rome
* 2.1 Key early paintings
* 5 Religious paintings after Rome
* 5.1 _Bardi Altarpiece_ * 5.2 _San Barnaba Altarpiece_ * 5.3 Other works
* 6 Madonnas, and tondos * 7 Portraits * 8 Dante, printing and manuscripts * 9 The Medici * 10 Last years * 11 Other media * 12 Workshop * 13 Private life * 14 Later reputation * 15 Notes * 16 References * 17 Further reading * 18 External links
Via Borgo Ognissanti in 2008, the church halfway down on the right. Like the street, it has had a Baroque makeover since Botticelli's time.
Botticelli was born in the city of
His father was a tanner until 1460, before joining his son Antonio in
a new business as a beater-out of gold leaf , which would have brought
them into contact with artists.
Vasari reported that Botticelli was
initially trained as a goldsmith . He perhaps became an apprentice
when he was about fourteen years old, which may indicate that he
received a fuller education than many other
The Ognissanti neighbourhood was mostly "a modest one, inhabited by weavers and other workmen", but there were some rich families, notably the very rich Rucellai, bankers and wool-merchants, headed by Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai , whose Palazzo Rucellai by Leon Battista Alberti , a landmark in Italian Renaissance architecture , was being built between about 1446 and 1451, Botticelli's earliest years. By 1458 Botticelli's family had moved to the same street as this, and were renting their house from another Rucellai, and there were other dealings involving the two families.
In 1464 his father bought a house in Via Nuova nearby (modern Via
della Porcellana), which Sandro returned to live in from 1470, if not
before, and where he remained for the rest of his life. He both lived
and had his workshop in the house, by now a rather unusual practice,
despite his brother Giovanni and his family also being in residence
(and later another brother, Simone). Here the notable family on the
street were the Vespucci, including
CAREER BEFORE ROME
From around 1461 or 1462 Botticelli was apprenticed to Fra Filippo
Lippi , one of the top Florentine painters of the day, and one often
patronized by the Medicis. He was rather conservative in many
respects, but gave Botticelli a solid training in the Florentine style
and technique of the day, in panel painting, fresco , and drawing.
Botticelli's paintings avoided technical short-cuts throughout his
life, and when well treated they have survived in good condition for
their age. Elements in style and compositions that are reminiscent of
Lippi also continue to appear throughout his career. For this period
Lippi was in fact based in
In the past there was speculation that he had also had a period in a more progressive workshop, and both that of the Pollaiuolo brothers and Verrochio have been suggested, based on some undoubted influence these had on Botticelli's style. Current thinking is that no actual period in a different workshop is needed to account for this.
Lippi died in 1469 and by 1470 at the latest, but probably a year or
two earlier, Botticelli had his own workshop, which by 1472 included
There is often uncertainty in distinguishing between the
contributions of Botticelli, the Lippis, and other pupils and
imitators of Botticelli. Especially in smaller works such as Madonnas,
all the leading painters were copied or imitated by their own
workshops and a host of unidentified lesser artists. Influenced also
by the monumentality of
KEY EARLY PAINTINGS
A large _sacra conversazione _ altarpiece of about 1470–72 is in
the Uffizi. It is not in good condition, but shows Botticelli had
mastered the posing of a group of eight figures "with a skillful
semblance of easy naturalness in a closed architectural setting". One
work that can be firmly dated is the narrow _Saint Sebastian _ made
for a pier in
Santa Maria Maggiore
At the start of 1474 Botticelli was asked by the authorities in Pisa
to join the work frescoing the
Camposanto , a huge and prestigious
project mostly being done by
Benozzo Gozzoli , who spent nearly twenty
years on it. Various payments up to September are recorded, but no
work survives, and it seems that whatever Botticelli started was not
finished. Whatever the outcome, that
Vasari was approached from
The _Adoration of the Magi _ for
Santa Maria Novella
A large fresco for the customs house of Florence, that is now lost,
depicted the execution by hanging of the leaders of the Pazzi
conspiracy of 1478 against the Medici. It was a Florentine custom to
humiliate traitors in this way. This was Botticelli's first major
fresco commission (apart from the abortive
In 1480 the Vespucci family commissioned a fresco figure of _Saint
Augustine _ for the Ognissanti, their parish church, and Botticelli's.
Someone else, probably the order running the church, commissioned
_St. Sebastian _, 1474 *
_Madonna with Lillies and Eight Angels_, c. 1478 *
Pope Sixtus IV summoned Botticelli and other prominent
Florentine and Umbrian artists to fresco the walls of the newly
The iconographic scheme was a pair of cycles, facing each other on
the sides of the chapel, of the _Life of Christ_ and the _Life of
Vasari implies that Botticelli was given overall artistic charge of
the project, but modern art historians think it more likely that
Botticelli differs from his colleagues in imposing a more insistent
triptych -like composition, dividing each of his scenes into a main
central group with two flanking groups at the sides, showing different
incidents. In each the principal figure of
The _Punishment of the Sons of Corah_ contains what was for Botticelli an unusually close, if not exact, copy of a classical work. This is the rendering in the centre of the north side of the Arch of Constantine in Rome, which he repeated in about 1500 in _The Story of Lucretia _. If he was apparently not spending his spare time in Rome drawing antiquities, as many artists of his day were very keen to do, he does seem to have painted there an _Adoration of the Magi_, now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. In 1482 he returned to Florence, and apart from his lost frescos for the Medici villa at Spedalletto a year or so later, no further trips away from home are recorded. He had perhaps been away from July 1481 to, at the latest, May 1482.
MYTHOLOGICAL SUBJECTS OF THE 1480S
_ Primavera _ (c. 1482), icon of the springtime renewal of the
Florentine Renaissance, seen by
Vasari at the summer palazzo of
Pierfrancesco de\' Medici . Left to right: Mercury , the Three Graces
, Venus , Flora ,
The masterpieces _Primavera _ (c. 1482) and _ The Birth of Venus _ (c. 1485) are not a pair, but are inevitably discussed together; both are in the Uffizi. They are among the most famous paintings in the world, and icons of the Italian Renaissance . As depictions of subjects from classical mythology on a very large scale they were virtually unprecedented in Western art since classical antiquity. Together with the smaller and less celebrated _Mars and Venus_ and _Pallas and the Centaur _, they have been endlessly analysed by art historians , with the main themes being: the emulation of ancient painters and the context of wedding celebrations, the influence of Renaissance Neo-Platonism , and the identity of the commissioners and possible models for the figures.
Though all carry differing degrees of complexity in their meanings,
they also have an immediate visual appeal that accounts for their
enormous popularity. All show dominant and beautiful female figures in
an idyllic world of feeling, with a sexual element. Continuing
scholarly attention mainly focuses on the poetry and philosophy of
The _Primavera_ and the _Birth_ were both seen by Vasari in the mid-16th century at the Villa di Castello , owned from 1477 by Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici, and until the publication in 1975 of a Medici inventory of 1499, it was assumed that both works were painted specifically for the villa. Recent scholarship suggests otherwise: the _Primavera_ was painted for Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco's townhouse in Florence, and _The Birth of Venus_ was commissioned by someone else for a different site.
Botticelli painted only a small number of mythological subjects, but these are now probably his best known works. A much smaller panel than those discussed before is his _Mars and Venus _ in the National Gallery, London. This was of a size and shape to suggest that it was a _spalliera _, a painting made to fitted into either furniture, or more likely in this case, wood panelling. The wasps buzzing around Mars' head suggest that it may have been painted for a member of his neighbours the Vespucci family, whose name means "little wasps" in Italian, and who featured wasps in their coat of arms. Mars lies asleep, presumably after lovemaking, while Venus watches as infant satyrs play with his military gear, and one tries to rouse him by blowing a conch shell in his ear. The painting was no doubt given to celebrate a marriage, and decorate the bedchamber.
Three of these four large mythologies feature Venus , a central
RELIGIOUS PAINTINGS AFTER ROME
_ The Bardi Altarpiece_, 1484–85, 185 x 180 cm
Botticelli returned from Rome in 1482 with a reputation considerably
enhanced by his work there. As with his secular paintings, many
religious commissions are larger and no doubt more expensive than
before. Altogether more datable works by Botticelli come from the
1480s than any other decade, and most of these are religious. By the
mid-1480s, many leading Florentine artists had left the city, some
never to return. The rising star
Leonardo da Vinci
The remaining leaders of Florentine painting, Botticelli, Domenico
The first major church commission after Rome was the _BARDI
ALTARPIECE_, finished and framed by February 1485, and now in Berlin.
The frame was by no less a figure than
Giuliano da Sangallo , who was
just becoming Lorenzo il Magnifico's favourite architect. An enthroned
Madonna and (rather large) Child sit on an elaborately-carved raised
stone bench in a garden, with plants and flowers behind them closing
off all but small patches of sky, to give a version of the _hortus
conclusus _ or closed garden, a very traditional setting for the
Virgin Mary. Saints
John the Baptist
The donor, from the leading Bardi family , had returned to Florence from over twenty years as a banker and wool merchant in London, where he was known as "John de Barde", and aspects of the painting may reflect north European and even English art and popular devotional trends. There may have been other panels in the altarpiece, which are now missing.
_SAN BARNABA ALTARPIECE_
A larger and more crowded altarpiece is the _SAN BARNABA ALTARPIECE_
of about 1487, now in the Uffizi, where elements of Botticelli's
emotional late style begin to appear. Here the setting is a palatial
heavenly interior in the latest style, showing Botticelli taking a new
degree of interest in architecture, possibly influenced by Sangallo.
The Virgin and Child are raised high on a throne, at the same level as
four angels carrying the
Instruments of the Passion . Six saints stand
in line below the throne. Several figures have rather large heads, and
With the phase of painting large secular works probably over by the late 1480s, Botticelli painted several altarpieces, and this appears to have been a peak period for his workshop's production of Madonnas. Botticelli's largest altarpiece, the _San Marco Altarpiece_ (378 x 258 cm, Uffizi), is the only one to remain with its full _predella_, of five panels. In the air above four saints, the _Coronation of the Virgin _ is taking place in a heavenly zone of gold and bright colours that recall his earlier works, with encircling angels dancing and throwing flowers.
In contrast, the _ Cestello Annunciation _ (1489–90, Uffizi) forms a natural grouping with other late paintings, especially two of the Lamentation of Christ that share its sombre background colouring, and the rather exaggerated expressiveness of the bending poses of the figures. It does have an unusually detailed landscape, still in dark colours, seen through the window, which seems to draw on north European models, perhaps from prints. _ Lamentation of Christ _, early 1490s, Alte Pinakothek , Munich.
Of the two _Lamentations_, one in
Early records mentioned, without describing it, an altarpiece by
Botticelli for the Convertite, an institution for ex-prostitutes, and
various surviving unprovenanced works were proposed as candidates. It
is now generally accepted that a painting in the
Courtauld Gallery in
London is the _
Pala delle Convertite _, dating to about 1491–93. Its
subject, unusual for an altarpiece, is the
After about 1493 or 1495 Botticelli seems to have painted no more large religious paintings, though production of Madonnas probably continued. The smaller narrative religious scenes of the last years are covered below.
_San Marco Altarpiece_, c. 1490-93, 378 x 258 cm,
_Lamentation over the Dead Christ_,
MADONNAS, AND TONDOS
_ Magnificat Madonna _, c. 1483
Paintings of the
Madonna and Child , that is, the
Botticelli painted Madonnas from the start of his career until at least the 1490s. He was one of the first painters to use the round tondo format, with the painted area typically some 115 to 145 cm across (about four to five feet). This format was more associated with paintings for palaces than churches, though they were large enough to be hung in churches, and some were later donated to them. Several Madonnas use this format, usually with a seated Virgin shown down to the knees, and though rectangular pictures of the Madonna outnumber them, Madonnas in tondo form are especially associated with Botticelli. He used the tondo format for other subjects, such as an early _Adoration of the Magi_ in London, and was apparently more likely to paint a tondo Madonna himself, usually leaving rectangular ones to his workshop.
Botticelli's Virgins are always beautiful, in the same idealized way
as his mythological figures, and often richly dressed in contemporary
In the _
Magnificat Madonna _ in the
_ Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder _, 1474; the medal is an inserted gesso cast of a real medal.
Botticelli painted a number of portraits, although not nearly as many as have been attributed to him. There are a number of idealized portrait-like paintings of women which probably do not represent a specific person (several closely resemble the Venus in his _Venus and Mars _). Traditional gossip links these to the famous beauty Simonetta Vespucci , who died aged twenty-two in 1476, but this seems unlikely. These figures represent a secular link to his _Madonnas_.
With one or two exceptions his small independent panel portraits show the sitter no further down the torso than about the bottom of the rib-cage. Women are normally in profile, full or just a little turned, whereas men are normally a "three-quarters" pose, but never quite seen completely frontally. Even when the head is facing more or less straight ahead, the lighting is used to create a difference between the sides of the face. Backgrounds may be plain, or show an open window, usually with nothing but sky visible through it. A few have developed landscape backgrounds. These characteristics were typical of Florentine portraits at the beginning of his career, but old-fashioned by his last years.
Many portraits exist in several versions, probably most mainly by the workshop; there is often uncertainty in their attribution. Often the background changes between versions while the figure remains the same. His male portraits have also often held dubious identifications, most often of various Medicis, for longer than the real evidence supports. Lightbown attributes him only with about eight portraits of individuals, all but three from before about 1475.
Botticelli often slightly exaggerates aspects of the features to
increase the likeness. He also painted portraits in other works, as
when he inserted a self-portrait and the Medici into his early
_Adoration of the Magi_. Several figures in the
_ Portrait of a Lady Known as Smeralda Brandini _, 1470s, shown as pregnant . *
_Giuliano de\' Medici _, who was assassinated in the Pazzi conspiracy . Several versions , all perhaps posthumous. *
_Portrait of a young man holding a medallion_ c. 1480–1485 *
_Portrait of a Young Man _ c. 1482-1485 *
Perhaps early 1480s. *
_La Bella Simonetta_ Simonetta Vespucci , c. 1480–1485 *
_Portrait of a young man with red hat_, c. 1485 *
_Dante Alighieri_, c. 1495 *
_ Venus and the Three Graces Presenting Gifts to a Young Woman _, probably Giovanna Tornabuoni, who married in 1486
DANTE, PRINTING AND MANUSCRIPTS
Botticelli had a lifelong interest in the great Florentine poet Dante Alighieri , which produced works in several media. He is attributed with an imagined portrait. According to Vasari, he "wrote a commentary on a portion of Dante", which is also referred to dismissively in another story in the _Life_, but no such text has survived.
Botticelli's attempt to design the illustrations for a printed book
was unprecedented for a leading painter, and though it seems to have
been something of a flop, this was a role for artists that had an
Vasari wrote disapprovingly of the first printed
Dante in 1481 with engravings by the goldsmith
Botticelli later began a luxury manuscript illustrated Dante on parchment , most of which was taken only as far as the underdrawings , and only a few pages are fully illuminated. This manuscript has 93 surviving pages (32 x 47 cm), now divided between the Vatican Library (8 sheets) and Berlin (83), and represents the bulk of Botticelli's surviving drawings.
Once again, the project was never completed, even at the drawing stage, but some of the early cantos appear to have been at least drawn but are now missing. The pages that survive have always been greatly admired, and much discussed, as the project raises many questions. The general consensus is that most of the drawings are late; the main scribe can be identified as Niccolò Mangona, who worked in Florence between 1482 and 1503, whose work presumably preceded that of Dante. Botticelli then appears to have worked on the drawings over a long period, as stylistic development can be seen, and matched to his paintings. Although other patrons have been proposed (inevitably including Medicis, in particular the younger Lorenzo, or il Magnifico), some scholars think that Botticelli made the manuscript for himself.
There are hints that Botticelli may have worked on illustrations for printed pamphlets by Savonarola, almost all destroyed after his fall.
_ Pallas and the Centaur _, c. 1482
The Medici family were effective rulers of Florence, which was nominally a republic, throughout Botticelli's lifetime up to 1494, when the main branch were expelled. Lorenzo il Magnifico became the head of the family in 1469, just around the time Botticelli started his own workshop. He was a great patron of both the visual and literary arts, and encouraged and financed the humanist and Neoplatonist circle from which much of the character of Botticelli's mythological painting seems to come. In general Lorenzo does not seem to have commissioned much from Botticelli, preferring Pollaiuolo and others, although views on this differ. A Botticello who was probably Sandro's brother Giovanni was close to Lorenzo.
Although the patrons of many works not for churches remain unclear, Botticelli seems to have been used more by Lorenzo il Magnifico's two young cousins, his younger brother Giuliano , and other families allied to the Medici. Tommaso Soderini, a close ally of Lorenzo, obtained the commission for the figure of _Fortitude_ of 1470 which is Botticelli's earliest securely dated painting, completing a series of the _ Seven Virtues _ left unfinished by Piero Pollaiuolo . Possibly they had been introduced by a Vespucci who had tutored Soderini's son. Antonio Pucci, another Medici ally, probably commissioned the London _Adoration of the Magi_, also around 1470.
Giuliano de' Medici was assassinated in the Pazzi conspiracy of 1478 (Lorenzo narrowly escaped, saved by his bank manager), and a portrait said to be Giuliano which survives in several versions may be posthumous, or with at least one version from not long before his death. He is also a focus for theories that figures in the mythological paintings represent specific individuals from Florentine high society, usually paired with Simonetta Vespucci, who John Ruskin persuaded himself had posed nude for Botticelli.
_ Calumny of Apelles _ (c. 1494–95)
Botticelli was a follower of Savonarola's, and this was why he gave up painting and then fell into considerable distress as he had no other source of income. None the less, he remained an obstinate member of the sect, becoming one of the _piagnoni_, the snivellers, as they were called then, and abandoning his work; so finally, as an old man, he found himself so poor that if Lorenzo de' Medici ... and then his friends and ... had not come to his assistance, he would have almost died of hunger.
The extent of Savonarola's influence on Botticelli remains uncertain;
his brother Simone was more clearly a follower. The story, sometimes
seen, that he had destroyed his own paintings on secular subjects in
the notorious "_
Bonfire of the Vanities _" is not told by Vasari.
Vasari's assertion that Botticelli produced nothing after coming under
the influence of
In late 1502, some four years after Savonarola's death, Isabella
d\'Este wanted a painting done in Florence. Her agent Francesco
Malatesta wrote to inform her that her first choice, Perugino, was
Many datings of works have a range up to 1505, though he did live a
further five years. But Botticelli apparently produced little work
after 1501, or perhaps earlier, and his production had already reduced
after about 1495. This may be partly because of the time he devoted to
the drawings for the manuscript Dante. In 1504 he was a member of the
committee appointed to decide where
Botticelli returned to subjects from antiquity in the 1490s, with a few smaller works on subjects from ancient history containing more figures and showing different scenes from each story, including moments of dramatic action. These are the _Calumny of Apelles _ (c. 1494–95), a recreation of a lost allegory by the ancient Greek painter Apelles , which he may have intended for his personal use, and the pair of _The story of Virginia _ and _The Story of Lucretia _, which are probably from around 1500. _ The Mystical Nativity_ (c. 1500–01)
_ The Mystical Nativity _, a relatively small and very personal painting, perhaps for his own use, appears to be dated to the end of 1500. It takes to an extreme the abandonment of consistent scale among the figures that had been a feature of Botticelli's religious paintings for some years, with the Holy Family much larger than the other figures, even those well in front of them in the picture space. This may be seen as a partial reversion to Gothic conventions. The iconography of the familiar subject of the Nativity is unique, with features including devils hiding in the rock below the scene, and must be highly personal.
Another painting, known as the _Mystic Crucifixion_ (now Fogg Art
Museum ), clearly relates to the state, and fate, of Florence, shown
in the background behind
His later work, especially as seen in the four panels with _Scenes
from the Life of Saint Zenobius _, witnessed a diminution of scale,
expressively distorted figures, and a non-naturalistic use of colour
reminiscent of the work of
Ernst Steinmann (d. 1934) detected in the later Madonna's a "deepening of insight and expression in the rendering of Mary's physiognomy ", which he attributed to Savonarola's influence (also pushing back the dating of some of these Madonnas. More recent scholars are reluctant to assign direct influence, though there is certainly a replacement of elegance and sweetness with forceful austerity in the last period.
Botticelli continued to pay his dues to the Compagnia di San Luca (a
confraternity rather than the artist\'s guild ) until at least October
1505; the tentative date ranges assigned to his late paintings run no
further than this. By then he was aged sixty or more, in this period
definitely into old age. Vasari, who lived in
Vasari mentions that Botticelli produced very fine drawings, which were sought out by artists after his death. Apart from the Dante illustrations, only a small number of these survive, none of which can be connected with surviving paintings, or at least not their final compositions, although they appear to be preparatory drawings rather than independent works. Some may be connected with the work in other media that we know Botticelli did. Three vestments survive with embroidered designs by him, and he developed a new technique for decorating banners for religious and secular processions, apparently in some kind of appliqué technique.
_ Madonna of the Pomegranate _ (_Madonna della Melagrana_), c. 1487
In 1472 the records of the painter's guild record that Botticelli had
Botticelli's linear style was relatively easy to imitate, making different contributions within one work hard to identify, though the quality of the master's drawing makes works entirely by others mostly identifiable. The attribution of many works remains debated, especially in terms of distinguishing the share of work between master and workshop. Lightbown believed that "the division between Botticelli's autograph works and the paintings from his workshop and circle is a fairly sharp one", and that in only one major work on panel "do we find important parts executed by assistants"; but others might disagree.
The National Gallery have an _Adoration of the Kings_ of about 1470,
which they describe as begun by
According to Vasari's perhaps unreliable account, Botticelli "earned a great deal of money, but wasted it all through carelessness and lack of management". He continued to live in the family house all his life, also having his studio there. On his father's death in 1482 it was inherited by his brother Giovanni, who had a large family. By the end of his life it was owned by his nephews. From the 1490s he had a modest country villa and farm at Bellosguardo (now swallowed up by the city), which was leased with his brother Simone.
Botticelli never married, and apparently expressed a strong dislike of the idea of marriage. An anecdote records that his patron Tommaso Soderini, who died in 1485, suggested he marry, to which Botticelli replied that a few days before he had dreamed that he had married, woke up "struck with grief", and for the rest of the night walked the streets to avoid the dream resuming if he slept again. The story concludes cryptically that Soderini understood "that he was not fit ground for planting vines".
Jacques Mesnil discovered a summary of a charge in the
Florentine Archives for November 16, 1502, which read simply
"Botticelli keeps a boy", an accusation of sodomy . No prosecution was
brought. The painter would then have been about fifty-eight. Mesnil
dismissed it as a customary slander by which partisans and adversaries
_ Madonna of the Book _, c.1480–3. Unusually, a small Madonna all painted by Botticelli himself
After his death, Botticelli's reputation was eclipsed longer and more
thoroughly than that of any other major European artist. His paintings
remained in the churches and villas for which they had been created,
and his frescos in the
There are a few mentions of paintings and their location in sources
from the decades after his death. Vasari's _Life_ is relatively short
and, especially in the first edition of 1550, rather disapproving.
According to the Ettlingers "he is clearly ill at ease with Sandro and
did not know how to fit him into his evolutionary scheme of the
history of art running from
In 1621 an picture-buying agent of Ferdinando Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
bought him a painting said to be a Botticelli out of historical
interest "as from the hand of an artist by whom Your Highness has
nothing, and who was the master of
Leonardo da Vinci
The _Birth of Venus_ was displayed in the
The English collector
William Young Ottley bought Botticelli's _The
Mystical Nativity _ in Italy, bringing it to London in 1799. But when
he tried to sell it in 1811, no buyer could be found. After Ottley's
death, its next purchaser,
William Fuller Maitland of Stansted,
allowed it to be exhibited in a major art exhibition held in
The first nineteenth-century art historian to have looked with satisfaction at Botticelli's Sistine frescoes was Alexis-François Rio ; Anna Brownell Jameson and Charles Eastlake were alerted to Botticelli as well, and works by his hand began to appear in German collections. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood incorporated elements of his work into their own.
Walter Pater created a literary picture of Botticelli, who was then
taken up by the
Aesthetic movement . The first monograph on the artist
was published in 1893, the same year as
Aby Warburg 's seminal
dissertation on the mythologies; then, between 1900 and 1920 more
books were written on Botticelli than on any other painter. Herbert
Horne 's monograph in English from 1908 is still recognised as of
exceptional quality and thoroughness, "one of the most stupendous
The main belt asteroid _29361 Botticelli_ discovered on 9 February 1996, is named after him. See also: List of works by Sandro Botticelli
_The Virgin Adoring the Sleeping
_Annunciation _, c. 1490 *
_The Outcast (Despair)_, c. 1496 *
_Mystic Crucifixion_, Fogg Art Museum
* ^ Ettlingers, 7. Other sources give 1446, 1447 or 1444–45.
* ^ Ettlingers, 7. Other sources give 1446, 1447 or 1444–45.
* ^ Ettlingers, 199; Lightbown, 53 on the
* Campbell, Lorne , _
* Zollner, Frank , _Sandro Botticelli_, Prestel, 2015 (2nd edn), with complete illustrations
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