who is sandro botticelli
Of the artist’s top 20 lots sold at auction, no less than 14 of them are paintings of the Madonna and Child, including his two most expensive works of all time. The Madonna and Child, with a pomegranate, in an alcove with roses behind sold for £3.8 million ($7.5 million) at Christie’s London in December 2006 (a record at the time).
Sandro Botticelli, The Madonna and Child, with a pomegranate, in an alcove with roses behind. Courtesy of Christie’s London.
Lippi’s painterly style, which was formed in the early Florentine Renaissance, was fundamental to Botticelli’s own artistic formation, and his influence is evident even in his pupil’s late works. Lippi taught Botticelli the techniques of panel painting and fresco and gave him an assured control of linear perspective. Stylistically, Botticelli acquired from Lippi a repertory of types and compositions, a certain graceful fancifulness in costuming, a linear sense of form, and a partiality to certain paler hues that is still visible even after Botticelli had developed his own strong and resonant colour schemes.
Botticelli worked in all the current genres of Florentine art. He painted altarpieces in fresco and on panel, tondi (round paintings), small panel pictures, and small devotional triptychs. His altarpieces include narrow vertical panels such as the St. Sebastian (1474); small oblong panels such as the famous Adoration of the Magi (c. 1476) from the Church of Santa Maria Novella; medium-sized altarpieces, of which the finest is the beautiful Bardi Altarpiece (1484–85); and large-scale works such as the St. Barnabas Altarpiece (c. 1488) and the Coronation of the Virgin (c. 1490). His early mastery of fresco is clearly visible in his St. Augustine (1480) in the Church of Ognissanti, in which the saint’s cogent energy and vigour express both intellectual power and spiritual devotion. Three of Botticelli’s finest religious frescoes (completed 1482) were part of the decorations of the Sistine Chapel undertaken by a team of Florentine and Umbrian artists who had been summoned to Rome in July 1481. The theological themes of the frescoes were chosen to illustrate papal supremacy over the church; Botticelli’s are remarkable for their brilliant fusion of sequences of symbolic episodes into unitary compositions.
Details about Botticelli’s personal life are sparse, but his prolific professional career is well documented due to the stunning heights of his fame.
Botticelli’s later career was marked by the influence of one charismatic monk in Florence by the name of Savonarola. At Savonarola’s peak of popularity, he burned many works of art and books which he deemed to be ungodly. Among such works were some of Botticelli’s pieces and even after Savonarola’s popular decline and eventual death Botticelli’s paintings remained deeply religious.
As well as the more famous works, his workshop during this period was the most popular supplier of Madonnas to private and public patrons in Florence, and Botticelli soon became so well-known that in 1481 Pope Sixtus IV asked Botticelli to oversee the decoration of the recently completed Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. For this project, Botticelli created a series of frescoes, often overlooked by visitors whose eyes are drawn straight to Michelangelo’s famous ceiling. Giorgio Vasari notes that, “having therefore acquired still greater fame and reputation among the great number of competitors who worked with him, both Florentines and men of other cities, he received from the Pope a good sum of money, the whole of which he consumed and squandered in a moment during his residence in Rome, where he lived in haphazard fashion, as was his wont.”
In 1472, Botticelli’s position allowed him to join the group of Florentine painters called the Compagnia di San Luca. His early work in this period was produced for churches in Florence, including his Adoration of the Magi (c.1476) for Santa Maria Novella, one of the city’s most important religious spaces. The painting contains portraits of Cosimo de’ Medici, and his sons Piero and Giovanni, along with other members of the Medici family. In addition to these, the painting is thought to include the only known self-portrait by the artist.
This was Botticelli’s largest altarpiece. It wa.
Sebastian was born in Narbonne, a southern Fren.