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Alessandro Botticelli biography,facts about Alessandro Botticelli life,Alessandro Botticelli bio

Alessandro Botticelli biography

Alessandro was born in 1444/45 in Florence as the fourth son to Mariano di Vanni Filipepi (who was a tanner).Alessandro’s pet name traces its origin to his elder brother Giovanni. Due to his fat constitution he was called “II Botticello” meaning ‘little barrel’. Botticelli was made an apprentice to a goldsmith at first. Later during 1460s he was enrolled with Fra Filippo and studied painting.

Botticelli started his own workshop in Florence in 1470 and joined St Luke’s Guild in 1472. His early themes were religion oriented works. Florentine Tribunate di Mercatanzia asked Botticelli in 1470 to paint “Fortitude”. 1474 saw Botticelli turn out his outstanding work St Sebastian which was fixed on a pillar in the Florentine church of Santa Maria Maggiore.

“Adoration of the Magi” was done by him in 1475 which showed members of the Medici clan, the rulers of Florence. The portrait of Giuliano de’ Medici(1476-77) was well known. His name was recognized as a Madonnas painter. Rated as his best are “Madonna and Child with Eight Angels”(Tondo Raczynski,c.1478), “Madonna del Libro(c 1480), “ Madonna of the Magnificat”(1480-81), “Madonna of the Pomegranate”
(c 1487), and “Madonna del Padiglione”(c 1493).

Botticelli was entrusted with the work of the fresco
‘St Augustine’(1480) for the Ognissanti church. Simultaneously he also did the fresco which never saw the same fame. Along with Domenico Ghirlandaio, Cosimo Rosseli and Pierro Perugino, Botticelli was awarded the fresco work for the Capella agna (later named as Sistine Chapel after the Pope Sixtus IV in 1481.He created “The Temptationof Christ” (1481-82),’ Scenes from the Life of Moses’ (1481-82) and ‘The Punishment of Korah’(1481-82)

For the decoration of the Pucci Villa he did four frescoes based on the novella in Boccaccio’s Decameron.
Botticelli did the painting of ‘The Story of Nastagio degli Onesti’(1482-83). His most famous works included the mythological ‘Primavera’(c 1482), and ‘The Birth of Venus’(c 1485).

Several great altarpieces were created by him for Florentine churches viz ‘Virgin and Child’ enthroned between ‘Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist’ (Bardi altarpiece 1484), ‘Virgin and Child with 4 Angels and 6 Saints’ (San Barnabas altarpiece c 1487), ‘Coronation of the Virgin’ with the ‘Saints John the Evangelist, Augustine, Jerome and Eligius’(San Marco altarpiece, c 1490-92).

In the 1490s he came under the influence of the Dominican monk Girolamo Savanarola. The latter’s sermons and writings formed the themes for his works on the Apocalypse and told the people to repent and take asceticism. He started adopting rigid styles. In 1480s he made paintings of dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ . His last works include “Calumny of Apelles(c 1494-95), ‘Story of Virginia’(1496-1504), ‘Story of Lucretia’(c 1496-1504), ‘Mystic nativity’(1500), and St Zenobius panels( 1500-1505).

Not much is known of his last days in old age. His death came on 17th May 1510 in Florence and was interned in the Ognissanti cemetery