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2010_0923_135131AA  GEMÁLDEGALERIE BERLIN-   BOTTICELLI | by Hans Ollermann
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Sandro Botticelli (1446-1510) - Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci.


Gemäldegalerie Berlin.


Little is known about the person Botticelli. We know that his family was well to do after a big inheretance of a familymember and that Botticelli gained real estate during his life, that lasted 65 years. He remained single all his life, and became one of the greatest painters of the Renaissance. He met on friendly terms with the Vespucci family, a member of which was Amerigo Vespucci. It was his name that gave the continent America its name!

The Vespucci's on their turn were friends of the Medici family, the mightiest family of Florence. Botticelli would receive many commissions of the Medici's.

The painters most famous works are two large paintings, that are now in the possension of the Uffizi: the Birth of Venus and the Primavera (the spring)

However I like his portraits most. Like the portrait that he made of Giuliano de Medici, the younger brother of Lorenzo il Magnifico. Giuiano's young life ended suddenly when he was murdered on April 26 1478, beeing a victim of a complot of the rivalling florentine Pazzi family. The Dome of Florence was the place of this crime. Giuliano is portrayed by Botticelli as a man of sorrow. And there was plenty of reason for that. His beloved girlfriend Simonetta Vespucci just died in 1476, 18 years old.


Larouse Dictionary of Painters tells us something more about the career of this intriging man:

Botticelli was a pupil of Fra Filippo Lippi.

He spent his working life in Florence, apart from a period in Rome during 1481 and 1482, when he contributed the Story of Moses to the decoration of the Sistine Chapel.

Botticelli was closely connected with the Medici family.

The events that overwhelmed Florence at the end of the 15th century shook him profoundly: the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent (1492) and the expulsion of his son Piero (1494) meant for Botticelli the end of the world that had welcomed and honoured him as its favourite painter.


See also my list of best and worst museums in the world:

And here you find my list of best and worst museums in Holland:


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Uploaded on July 14, 2011