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Alessandro Botticelli (1444-1510)

Botticellis signature motifs -highly detailed ornamentation, a rich color palette and attenuated forms- make his paintings both immediately recognizable and wholly original.

Born in Florence, Botticelli was exposed to the rich art tradition offered by that city. Originally trained as a goldsmith, Botticelli also apprenticed under the painter Fra Fillipo Lippi who instilled an interest in Gothic forms, new perspective devices, and a greater sense of corporality. As a result, the artist developed a unique style that acknowledged the Florentine art tradition and that also strove to be innovative

After a series of religious an devotional commissions, Botticelli was asked to paint a series of mythic themed pictures. His famous Birth of Venus was a product of this commission. The Birth of Venus employs a light color scheme and references to springtime invoked by Venus herself and the goddess Hora (both symbols of spring). to create a beautiful, enigmatic scene that was intended for an Italian pastoral retreat.

Botticellli’s combination of a goldsmiths eye for detail and a mathematicians sense of geometry created an oeuvre that was both highly decorative an compositionally innovative


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