where did sandro botticelli live
In the 1470s, Botticelli opened his own workshop, and remained a citizen of Florence for the rest of his life.
Sandro Botticelli was born several generations after Donatello (1386 – 1466), Masaccio (1401 – 1428), and their associates who gave Florentine art its direction, and just before it took a great turn in the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and others. Botticelli worked in an established, almost traditional manner at a point just before such a style went out of fashion.
A relief sculpture of Bernardino of Siena organizing the vanities bonfire. The sculpture is in Perugia, on the Oratorio di San Bernardino, by Agostino di Duccio, built between 1457 and 1461. Courtesy of Giovanni Dall’Orto, via Wikimedia Commons.
On February 7, 1497, Savonarola held the infamous bonfire of the vanities, at which supposedly sinful objects including artworks and books were destroyed. The truth is lost to history, but it has been said that Botticelli was compelled to burn his mythological paintings at the priest’s behest.
Sandro Botticelli, original name Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, (born 1445, Florence [Italy]—died May 17, 1510, Florence), one of the greatest painters of the Florentine Renaissance. His The Birth of Venus and Primavera are often said to epitomize for modern viewers the spirit of the Renaissance.
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.
Argan, Giulio. Botticelli: Biographical and Critical Study. New York: Skira, trans. 1957.
Botticelli continued using this early style after 1480 (the Birth is perhaps as late as 1485), but a new style soon emerged in frescoes (paintings done on moist plaster with water-based colors) such as St. Augustine (1480) in the Church of the Ognissanti, Florence; the Annunciation (1481) for San Martino, Florence; and three frescoes (1481–82) in the Sistine Chapel, Rome, Italy, executed during Botticelli’s only trip away from Florence. These frescoes show a new concern with the construction of stage like spaces and stiffer figures, also seen in a series of altarpieces (works of art that decorate the space above and behind an altar) of 1485 and 1489. The influence of the work of Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449–1494) and of Flemish painting can be seen, but it is clear that Botticelli’s art had not undergone any major changes.
Botticelli may be most famous for his mythological works and secular portraits, but he was very religious, and produced more Madonna paintings and altarpieces than anything else. In old age, Botticelli was one of the followers of the deeply moralistic friar Savonarola, who preached in Florence from 1490 until his execution in 1498. After Savonarola’s death, Botticelli was never the same: “he was induced to desert his painting, and, having no income to live on, fell into very great distress.” (G. Vasari). In 1491, he served on a committee to decide upon a façade for the Cathedral of Florence. His ideas must have been valuable, for although old and practically inactive, in 1504, Botticelli was included among the members of the committee responsible for choosing the most suitable location for Michelangelo’s David. In modern times, his legacy is carried all the way into outer space: an impact crater on the surface of the planet Mercury is called Botticelli in his honor.
The earliest work attributed to Botticelli is a Madonna and Child (about 1465), at the Ospedale degli Innocenti (Florence). By 1470, he had his own workshop. Thanks to Medici patronage, in 1481 he was called to Rome by the Pope to contribute scenes to the wall decoration of the Sistine Chapel alongside other artists from Tuscany and Umbria. Back in Florence, “he there wrote a commentary on a portion of Dante and illustrated the Inferno which he printed, spending much time over it, and this abstention from work led to serious disorders in his living.” (Giorgio Vasari).