An extract from the Christie’s Education online course, The Great Masters of European Art 1350–1850. Florence in the 1400s, a city of wealthy guilds and merchants, in particular the Medici family, who commissioned astonishing works of art to show off their success and cultivation.
Here we are introduced to one of the great artists the Medicis favoured: Sandro Botticelli, and his most famous works: ‘Primavera’ and ‘The Birth of Venus’.
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi (c. 1445 – May 17, 1510), known as Sandro Botticelli, was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de’ Medici, a movement that Giorgio Vasari would characterize less than a hundred years later in his Vita of Botticelli as a “golden age”. Botticelli’s posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then, his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting.