how did sandro botticelli die
An anonymous buyer snatched up the piece after three minutes of furious phone bidding, according to the Wall Street Journal. Prior to the sale, Christie’s sent the painting on a world tour, with stops in London, Moscow, and Hong Kong. To drum up enthusiasm for the work among Asian buyers, who rarely buy Christian-themed art, the auction house even held a seven-course Chinese banquet with senior auction house staff.
While considered a masterpiece today, The Birth of Venus wasn’t always so well-received according to PBS: “Designed to be hung above the marital bed, it was a daring celebration of human desire. The painting was so controversial it was kept behind closed doors for half a century.”
Sandro Botticelli was one of the greatest painters of the Florentine Renaissance. His Birth of Venus (c. 1485) and Primavera (c. 1480; Spring) are often said to epitomize for modern viewers the spirit of the Renaissance, though his elongated, seemingly weightless figures and fairly flat spaces deviate from the naturalism of other Renaissance painters.
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.
Lippi died in 1469 and by 1470 at the latest, but probably a year or two earlier, Botticelli had his own workshop, which by 1472 included the young Filippino Lippi, son of his master.  In June of that year he was commissioned by the judges of commercial cases to paint two panels from a set of the Seven Virtues for their court;  for some reason, only one, Fortitude (now in the Uffizi Gallery) was finished. Botticelli both matched his style and composition to the other panels by Piero del Pollaiuolo, and tried to outshine him “with fanciful enrichments so as to show up Piero’s poverty of ornamental invention.” 
At the start of 1474 Botticelli was asked by the authorities in Pisa to join the work frescoing the Camposanto, a huge and prestigious project mostly being done by Benozzo Gozzoli, who spent nearly twenty years on it. Various payments up to September are recorded, but no work survives, and it seems that whatever Botticelli started was not finished. Whatever the outcome, that Botticelli was approached from outside Florence demonstrates a growing reputation. 
As Sandro grew older, his style underwent a remarkable change. Sandro became a follower of the monk Savonarola who was a prominent civic leader in Florence. He stressed giving up all worldly things. He was very charismatic and often spoke of death and God’s wrath upon the people. Many of Botticelli’s previous paintings were considered ungodly and were burned along with objectionable books and playing cards. When Savonarola’s popularity ended, he was burnt in the center of Florence. Many followers fled the city, but Botticelli stayed and continued to paint. Many of his works contained a very religious feel to them. Sandro included highly religious symbolism in his paintings; they seemed to be telling a story. Sandro became known as an excellent altarpiece painter and earned large amounts of money through those commissions.
In Sandro Botticelli’s workshop, he chose to have many apprentices to help him complete his work. Sandro taught them to set up and prepare his supplies so he could concentrate on painting. When Sandro thought one of his apprentices was ready, he had some of them paint for him under his close supervision. Using these practices, he was able to produce large amounts of commissioned work.
In 1480, Botticelli joined several important artists, including Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Filippo Lippi, to complete a series of frescoes for the villa of Lorenzo the Magnificent.
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