Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) automatic translate
Unfortunately, there are very few reliable facts about the life of the greatest artist, Alessandro da Mariano di Vanni di Amedeo Filippepi, known to us under the name of Sandro Botticelli. It is known that Alessandro was born in Florence in 1445 in the family of tanner Marpano Filippepi and his wife Emeralda, who already had three sons of Giovanni, Simone and Antonio. Precise information about how Alessandro received the nickname «Botticelli» («Boconochek»), which became his second name, no. Perhaps, so it was called in the family by parents or by one of the older brothers. The scanty facts about the great artist’s childhood speak only of the fact that the fourth son of a tanner grew up to be a very observant, inquisitive but painful boy.
At about thirteen years, Sandro began to study jewelry under the guidance of his brother Antonio, who had his workshop. Jeweled art with its scrupulous and careful drawing of all details of the future product at the stage of the sketch took possession of the young man’s heart and helped him to understand his true vocation. So, already in the beginning of the 1460s Botticelli began to visit the workshop of one of the most famous Italian painters of his time, Fra Filippo Lippi (c. 1406-1469).
Fra Filippo had a rich and unusual biography. More than ten years he was in the Order of Carmelite monks, abandoned by him in 1431. Being already a well-known artist, Lippi, in 1456, he burst out with an unrestrained passion for the young nun Lucrezia Buti. He kidnapped the beloved of the convent in Prato to marry her. Only thanks to the intercession of the patron painter, Duke Cosimo de ’Medici, the newlyweds could live in relative safety. Such an unusual life left an imprint on the nature of the master, he was freethinker and a constant desire for excellence and discovery. Ironically, the son of Lippi and Lucretia Filippino, with whom Sandro was familiar with early childhood, later became his disciple.
Giorgio Vasarn, who wrote the biography of Botticelli, described his years of study as follows: «He became a follower of his teacher and imitated him in such a way that Fra Filippo loved him and, with his training, soon raised him to an extent that no one could even think about.» Unfortunately, this is the only information about this period of the artist’s life.
The revolutionary work of Filippo Lippi «Madonna under the veil» (1465, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence), painted as an altarpiece for one of the churches in Florence, which for the first time in the history of Italian Renaissance art in the image of Our Lady appeared young Florentine, struck young Botticelli before such a degree that he created many such canvases. Sandro almost completely repeated this tender and inspired work in his work «The Madonna and Child with the Angel» (1465-1467, Gallery of the Educational House, Florence). This picture completely repeats the composition of Lippi, accurately reproducing all the details, up to the location of folds of veil covering the head of the Madonna. A very similar composition has several other works of the artist.
It should be noted that, having copied the composition of the teacher, the young artist introduced new intonations into his work. His image of Madonna is more thoughtful and peaceful. In order not to distract the viewer from the heroes of the canvas, Botticelli refused a complex landscape background. The focus on the image, which carries a shade of divine grandeur and an unusually lyrical color, has become a characteristic feature of many of the artist’s early works.
Comprehending in full the accuracy and sophistication of Lippi’s drawing, and adopting his manner of conveying the emotional state of the characters, Sandro leaves his studio in 1467, at the age of twenty-two. But the painter did not finish his training on this. In order to expand and improve his skills, the young painter visited the workshop of Andrea Verrocchio, a renowned Italian sculptor, painter and jeweler, whose students included Leonardo da Vinci and Pietro Perugino.
If Lippi Botticelli learned to master the line, Verrocchio took over the art of creating a special atmosphere through light-and-air modeling. With the help of knowledge acquired from different teachers, Sandro brilliantly performed such works as «The Madonna in the Rose Garden» (circa 1470, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence), «The Madonna on the Loggia» (circa 1467, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence) and the «Madonna with the Child and two angels «(1468-1469, Museum of Capodimonte, Naples). All images in the canvases are unusually calm and sublime-refined, and the compositional construction of the works is very well thought out.
The early paintings of the master are distinguished by the absence of complicated light and shadow modeling, the leading role in them is given to a drawing endowed with an expressive impulse. With the help of a single line, Botticelli revealed and, as it were, transformed the immaculately clean and bright appearance of his divine chapels, emphasizing refinement, nobility and their belonging to another, more sublime world. Working on these images, the painter sought to show not the real world, but some ideal, existing only in his imagination, the country of dreams. Already in the first independent works of Botticelli appeared fascinating plastic, which will forever determine the individual style of the painter.
After leaving his last teacher in 1469, Botticelli arranges his own workshop in his father’s house, which was located in the Santa Maria Novella section on Via Nuova. During this period, the artist creates his famous altarpiece «The Altar of Sant Ambrogio» (also known as the Madonna with the Child and Saints Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Francis, Catherine of Alexandria, Kozma and Damian, 1467-1470, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence).
The composition of the painting is very typical for that time and is a variation on the biblical theme «Adoration of the Child». Maria and the baby sit on the arms in the center of the canvas, around her are the saints. The fact that the great martyrs Kozma and Damian are among the worshipers of Jesus and His mother, can say that the canvas could have been written by the order of the ruling Medici family in Florence at the time, the heavenly patrons of which were precisely these saints. Striking is the almost mathematical accuracy with which Botticelli calculated coloring the picture, skillfully distributing red, violet-blue, blue and brown colors. Using vivid accents, the artist singled out the figures of the main characters: Madonna, Child Jesus, Kozma and Damian. At the same time, the architectural background of the canvas seems flat and theatrical, because of the complete lack of perspective.
It is known for certain that in 1470 Sandro Botticelli finally received his first official order. The canvas, depicting the allegorical image of the «Force» (Uffizi Gallery, Florence), was to enter the cycle of paintings «Virtues», designed to decorate the backs of the seats in the ceremonial meeting room of the Commercial Court.
This order played a big role in the artist’s career, since he allowed him to enter the circle of Florentine painters, close to the Medici family. Botticelli performed it, focusing on the tastes of his era. He painted a female figure on the canvas, the image of which represents a moral force and, rather, a melancholy thoughtfulness rather than decisiveness. The allegory of the «Force» in Botticelli’s interpretation, strangely enough, absolutely does not carry a manly energy. Moreover, her figure with a slight inclination of the head, an emphatically graceful movement of the hands, which impotently hold the staff, creates a feeling of internal fragility, and even breakdown. Even though the heroine of the work sits in a comfortable chair, her posture still gives the impression of instability.
In the treatment of folds, the general modeling of the female figure and scrupulous elaboration of the decorative elements of the throne, the influence of Verrocchio is clearly read. But even in this picture there are also own «art finds» of a very young master: some elongation of proportions, delicacy in the creation of the face and a special graceful plastic of movements.
Like many artists of the Renaissance, Botticelli, he often betrayed to his heroes a direct portrait resemblance to the people known to him-friends, customers, and maybe lovers. For example, it’s hard not to notice that the heroine of the painting «Sila», the Virgin Mary from the altar image «Madonna and Child with Two Angels», as well as St. Catherine from the altarpiece «The Altar of Sant Ambrogio» are unusually similar. Art critics suggest that for all these works the artist used the same real model, which was at that time in Florence.
Having already gained some recognition among his contemporaries, Botticelli entered the Guild of St. Luke in 1472, declaring himself as a free master. The artist opened a large workshop, in which he enlisted assistants and apprentices. Filippino Lippi became one of his first students.
Between 1470 and 1472 Botticelli created the so-called «Madonna of the Eucharist» (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston). Almost completely repeating the composition of the «Madonna with the Child and two angels,» the artist focused on the symbolic interpretation of the plot.
Madonna and Child with hands on the background of the landscape, which is visible behind the architectural elements. John the Baptist stands before them, holding in his hands a dish with ears and grape clusters, serving as symbols of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. The presence of these elements in the picture gave her the name. Although religious symbolism, extremely common in the art of the time, is often found in works of the XV-XVI centuries, it was not peculiar to the works of Botticelli himself, as well as landscape backgrounds on the backgrounds of his paintings. Perhaps these elements were inspired by the early canvases of Leonardo da Vinci.
The canvas «Saint Sebastian» (1473, the State Museum, Berlin) was created by Botticelli for the church of Santa Maria Maggiore. The work is done in accordance with classical traditions and, therefore, is positively received by Florentines. The following year, the day of St. Sebastian, the picture was presented for public viewing on the column of the church for which it was created - a fact that says that the artist acquired a certain fame in his native city. There is evidence that in 1474 the painter was invited to Pisa to create paintings in the Camposanto cemetery, located next to the Pisa Cathedral. It is not known why, but Botticelli did not fulfill his obligations and returned to Florence.
The decisive role in the fate of the great painter was played by one of his best works «Adoration of the Magi» (1473, Uffizi Gallery, Florence), commissioned by the banker Giovanni (Gaspra) di Zanobi Lami. A truly wonderful work was intended to decorate the Lamy Chapel, which was in the Church of Maria Novella. The customer was a very influential man in Florence and had warm friendly relations with members of the Medici family. It is not difficult to see that among the heroes of the religious scene depicted by the painter, there are explicit portraits of members of this family name. It turns out that the banker introduced Botticelli to the Medici court, in order for the artist to include in the composition of the biblical story a group portrait of the representatives of the Florentine elite.
The central place in the composition, in accordance with all accepted canons, is the holy family - the Virgin Mary, Jesus and Joseph. They are surrounded, standing in several rows, representatives of three generations of the Medici, the close of Lorenzo the Magnificent and Botticelli himself, who came to worship the Infant. All the characters on the canvas are somewhat idealized and are, rather, a hint of a particular person, rather than his portrait copy. Nevertheless, this was quite enough for the artist’s contemporaries.
For example, in the figure of the elder, with respect to touching the feet of the Child, contemporaries easily recognized the late Cosimo de ’Medici. The first biographer of Botticelli, Vasari, writes about this: «And we see special expressiveness in the old man, who, kissing the feet of our Lord and melting with tenderness, in a superb way shows that he has reached the goal of his longest journey. The figure of this king is a full-time portrait of Cosimo the Elder de Medici, the most lively and the most similar of all surviving to the present day. « Next to the old man we see the Magi who fell to their knees before Jesus - these are the late sons Cosimo - Giovanni and Pierrot. And on the left side of the picture is the grandson of Cosimo Lorenzo de ’Medici. Lorenzo is surrounded by his best friends - the philosopher Pico della Mirandola, pointing at the holy family and the poet Langelo Polppapo, who bent his head on Lorenzo’s shoulder.
In the center of the group on the right side of the canvas, we see Lorenzo’s younger brother, who was his co-regent, Giuliano, dressed in a dark cloak. Behind him stands the old man, who is most probably the philosopher Giovanni Argyropoulos, just above the philosopher is an elderly man in blue robes, pointing at himself with his finger - this is the customer of the work, the banker Lamp. Botticelli himself stands in the foreground of the picture, wrapped in a golden-buff coat.
This work has earned the painter not only the glory, but also the favor of the representatives of one of the noblest and most influential families in Florence, thus involving him in tumultuous historical events. When, on April 26, 1478, during a solemn mass in the Cathedral of Florence, the native of the family of Nazzi made an almost successful attempt on the Medici brothers. As a result, Giuliano was killed, and Lorenzo, although he survived, was forced to flee the city urgently.
Later, when Lorenz Medici fully recovered his position, he first ordered the arrest and execution of absolutely all members of the Nation’s family, making no exception for anyone. Then, the Medici ordered Botticelli to paint portraits of the executed walls of his palace, for edification to those who dare to encroach on the lives of members of his family. Despite the strangeness of the order, he contributed to the strengthening of the reputation of the painter, who, in this way, received the special disposition of Lorenzo himself. Up to now, these amazing paintings have not reached.
Several years later, Botticelli was engaged exclusively in fulfilling the numerous orders of his new patrons. Most of the master’s work was designed to decorate the luxurious Villa Medici in Castello. Two of the most famous works of the artist - «Spring» (1478, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence) and «The Birth of Venus» (1484, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence) belong precisely to this calm and fertile period of Sandro’s life.
Working on the creation of his «Spring», the painter drew inspiration from «Fasts» - the poetic calendar of Ovid. The complex composition of the work is made up of several separately disjointed groups, interconnected only by internal movement. At the same time, thanks to these details, as well as the rhythm of the canvas, which, like an invisible music, permeates work, the image becomes one and complete.
In the right part of the picture, Botticelli placed the winged Zephyr. Amazed by the extraordinary beauty of the nymph Chloris, the god of the wind tries to entice her to force her into wives. But, having repented of the deed, Zephyr turns his beloved into Flora, which we see in this same group of heroes. The painter captures the very moment of the beginning of the Transformation: the figure of Chloris seems to be pouring into his next incarnation. The fact that the masterly clothes of these two female figures masterfully fluttered in different directions, indicates that these two images are not yet connected and are, as it were, in different spaces of being.
Young beautiful Flora easily steps forward, literally showering all the surrounding space with delicate flowers, symbolizing the arrival of spring. In the center of the composition is an elegant figure of Venus against a background of dark greenery. Her dress is of the finest fabric, sewn with gold threads. The fact that she is the goddess of love, emphasizes the symbolic luxurious scarlet cloak, complementing her outfit.
The image of Venus in the canvas is interpreted by Botticelli, similar to the images of the Virgin Mary created earlier. The face of the Greek goddess expresses sadness, modesty and shyness, and her head, slightly inclined to the right, is covered with the thinnest gas veil that only emphasizes these qualities.
The winged golden-hearted Cupid hovers over Venus, aiming from its bow to a group of divinely beautiful graces dancing in the left part of the canvas. A snow-white silk bandage, tied around the eyes of a mischievous little chap, is designed to prevent him from making an accurate shot. Thanks to this touching character, Botticelli directs our attention to a group of three nymphs (whose symbolic meaning is read from the right to the left, like Beauty, Chastity and Pleasure), slowly circling in a dance. Their slender bodies are stressed elongated proportions and graceful and smooth form of motion clearly ranked, rhythmic circular motion. Light turns and curves shapes the Three Graces, neat connection of their hands and feet pass the progressive rhythm of the dance.
Possible models for girls figures are considered beautiful Simonetta Vespucci and Caterina Sforza, the last of which is depicted as a beauty. Creating images of the forest beauties, the painter shows ingenuity in the image of their hairstyles. One of Graces hair in a bun, the other fell over the shoulders of light waves, and a third stream of free gold cover her back.
At the left edge of the picture, next to the damsels, should the messenger of the gods Mercury. His eyes looking to the sky, guides the viewer’s attention to the storm cloud threatening the blessed paradise. Light but confident gesture of the young man does not allow him to penetrate into the lovely garden, which is densely intertwined branches of the orange trees, reinforce the common rhythm of the whole work, an unusually adept the aligned Botticelli.
The artist showed the utmost care and accuracy in the image of different varieties of plants shown in the picture. He quite carefully studied everything that grows in the spring in the vicinity of Florence. So, the researchers «identified» on the canvas more than fifty species of herbs and flowers. Only in a wreath on the head of Flora and her necklace is clearly read cornflowers, daisies, hellebore, lilies, myrtle leaves, periwinkles, forget-me, pomegranate flowers, poppies, buttercups, violets, flowers and strawberries.
This fact shows that Botticelli carefully thought through not only solve complex rhythmic compositions of his works, but also their every detail, down to the fine logical reasonableness of the location of all actors subordinate strict regularity.
Another masterpiece of the master - «Birth of Venus» is written in a somewhat different manner. The painting, which is one of the most famous works of art in the world, and «Spring», is the prototype of poetry that served as inspiration to the artist. Literary texts are considered landmarks picture of Homer, «Stanzas» Poliziano and works of Virgil.
In contrast to the «Spring» in the web «Birth of Venus» we do not see a limited area of the garden of Eden, as it were, hidden from the world of dense vegetation and open space of the sky and the sea. Botticelli painted during the early morning, when just the night’s darkness introduced the world to the beautiful Venus. Goddess of Beauty, just born from the sea foam, stands on a huge sea shell, customized to the banks of the breath Zefirov. The emergence of beauty on earth in triumph - under her feet flying rose, and she hurries to meet the goddess Oro carrying young beauty precious cloak, with delicate flowers embroidered on it.
The compositional structure of the painting is quite simple and clear. Venus itself is the embodiment of perfect beauty, her features striking perfection and harmony. Like many female images Botticelli, Venus is represented by a shadow of sadness, only emphasizes developing wind strands of golden hair. All of the goddess pose reminiscent of the famous ancient statue of Venus Pudika (with lat -. «Modest, chaste, shy»), also known as the Venera Medichi.
In the construction composition predominates thin linear rhythm, informing all the forms depicted motion gives them the illusion of depth and creating space and depth. The clear, cold and bright color, which is dominated by a combination of pale color (pale-green tones of the sea, the golden Venus hair, blue clothing marshmallows, white dress and dark crimson cloak met her nymphs), give the product a special harmony and expressiveness. This work, as well as the «Spring», has become one of the most famous paintings of the painter.
The recognition of the Vatican
October 27, 1480, together with artists Botticelli, Cosimo Rosselli, Petro Perudzhino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and others made a trip to Rome, where they were invited by Pope Sixtus IV, for the frescoes decorating the «great chapel», which was later called «the Sistine.»
By this time, the artist’s fame was already so great that Pope Sixtus IV put him in charge of other artists involved in the work. Given that contemporaries above all other work is appreciated by the artist the song «The punishment of the rebels of the Levites,» «Three Temptation of Christ» and «Youth of Moses», it was justified. Frescoes masters perfectly complement one of the largest and most solemn monumental ensembles of the XV century. The works are astonishingly fast-paced action, dynamics and emotion of images.
The magnificent fresco «Youth of Moses» (1480-1482 years, the Sistine Chapel, Rome) is one of the most monumental works of the master and tells the story of the Old Testament character of Moses, the mission of which was the elimination of the Jews from Egypt. Botticelli painted several scenes from the life of the biblical hero, took place at different times and included the artist in a single composition. Such an approach to the construction of the painting speaks of gravity of the painter to the earlier well-known examples of monumental art. Events in developing right to left: So Moses kills an Egyptian; then fleeing from the vengeance of Pharaoh, he comes into the country Midiamskuyu, which helps water the sheep daughters of Joseph; then, Moses takes off sandals to approach the burning bush from which God called to him, laying out his mission of salvation of the captivity of his people. The last episode shows the Exodus of the children of Israel. Despite the seemingly excessive congestion compositions, each of the scenes is easily singled out from the total number. All images are interpreted very tentatively and with great imagination of the artist. Before the viewer is presented fairly idealized ancient world, in which many of the characters are dressed in contemporary costumes Botticelli. All images of the characters emphasized harmonious and beautiful.
Of several scenes and is the fresco «The punishment of the Levites» (1481-1482 years, the Sistine Chapel, Rome). The left side shows the Levites, determined to beat Moses stones, followed by a scene of smoking censers of Aaron the High Priest, the flames of which with a wave of the wand of Moses burning unruly. Closes composition renegade group, which absorbs the earth itself. The semantic content of the frescoes was to promote the establishment of papal authority. As a sign of respect for the customer, the artist often depicted in the frescoes oak - the heraldic symbol of Sixtus IV and the color combination of his arms - blue and yellow. All biblical scenes unfold against the backdrop of magnificent landscapes.
The product of «Three Temptation of Christ» (1481-1482 years, the Sistine Chapel, Rome) are also created for the Roman Chapel Botticelli, depicts the Gospel episodes (Matthew 4, Luke 4), telling about the temptation of Jesus the devil. In the first plot, located in the upper left corner, it offers Jesus to turn stones into bread, to get an answer: «Not by bread alone doth man live«; the central part of the composition shows them standing on the roof of the temple where the adversary convinces Son Lord rush down; the third plot, located in the upper left corner, depicts a scene where the Devil asks Jesus to worship him.
Own scenes created by Botticelli small in size, and all the works of fore busy ritual cleansing a leper. In this work, as in the «Adoration of the Magi», the artist depicts his contemporaries, who are, according to his plan, witnessing what is happening purification. It is believed that in the lower left corner of the composition shows the self-portrait of Botticelli and the portrait of his student and friend Filippino Lippi. In the opposite side stands the Pope Sixtus IV’s nephew, Girolamo Riario, wrapped in a red cloak.
As the biographer of the painter wrote Vasari, Botticelli, working on the paintings in the chapel, «he gained fame and glory of the greatest and from the pope get a decent amount of money, which he immediately, while he was in Rome, squandered and wasted because of his habit led a life careless. In the autumn of 1482 all the frescoes were completed, and the artists who worked on them, left Rome and went to his native Florence. «
Success and fame
Workshop of Botticelli, already attained great fame in the 1480s, was filled with a huge amount of orders, to cope with which the artist had no opportunity, therefore, the whole body of work was done by his pupils, perfectly imitating the painting style of the artist. During this grace period, Botticelli received a new order from his patron Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de ’Medici.
Work «Pallas and the Centaur» (1482, Uffizi, Florence) was to demonstrate around the world and posterity as strong and powerful was the Medici dynasty, and how wisely she ruled Florence. At the request of Lorenzo the Magnificent, the work was performed as an allegory of the «golden age» of Florence, the Medici era.
Botticelli also, on their own, further expanded the scope of the story, adding the more the idea of the struggle between good and evil. The composition of the painting is based on the contrast - contrasting the beautiful image of the goddess of ugly centaurs. Pallas dress is richly decorated with the emblems of the Medici house. The goddess is depicted in the background of a beautiful landscape with a clear and deep sky above. Behind the back of the Centaur we see dilapidated ancient buildings, symbolizing ignorance and chaos.
The inspiration for the creation of this painting is believed to have served as the idea of the philosopher Marsilio Ficino: «The beast in us - it is an instinct, a man in us - the mind.» This assumption adds another possible interpretation of the works: Botticelli visually separates man on two principles: divine, associated with the sphere of the spirit, high aspirations and mind, and the animal - which represents exclusively the needs of the physical body. From the point of view of this interpretation of the story, Pallas gesture becomes the personification of her power over natural instincts. An interesting fact is that the face of the Centaur shows deep suffering - an expression characteristic of the holy image on Botticelli’s paintings.
Work «Venus and Mars» (1482-1483 years, the National Gallery, London), is another multi-faceted work of the master. Hornet’s nest with around circling of insects not the picture in the upper right corner of the composition indicates that the painting was commissioned by the representative Vespucci home, the heraldic symbol of the genus to which it is. A possible reason for writing this canvas was a wedding of one of the members of the house. The whole first plan of an elongated horizontal works occupy figures of Venus, reclined in thought, and relaxed, sleeping Mars. little satire play right behind them with a formidable weapon of the god of war.
In Florence, the second half of the XV century widespread astrology, so the image on the canvas characters can be interpreted as an allegory of the planets, not just the Olympian gods. The coloring of the product differs majestic restraint and fabric breathes tranquility itself. The compositional structure of light and very balanced.
In 1485 Botticelli creates one more wonderful work - «Altar Bardi» (State Museum, Berlin). Altarpiece, full name of which sounds like «Madonna with John the Baptist and John the Evangelist», was written by the artist commissioned by Giovanni Do Agnolo Bardi and was intended for his family chapel in the church of Santo Spirito.
Strict canonical features a composite construction of this wizard. In the center of the picture, on an ornate throne sits the Queen of Heaven, with the baby in her arms on either side of it are the saints - Ioann Krestitel and Ioann Bogoslov. All pieces are arranged on a background of a garden gazebo with three arches that compares images of antique statues.
«Altar Bardi» is very different from other, earlier works by Botticelli. All lines are adjusted and clear, even more stringent, which is clearly visible in the «ornament», formed by the foliage. Brand new intonations filled with images of the Madonna, which the artist previously portrayed a very majestic and solemn. Here, we see first of all the mother, performed by anxiety and sadness, in anticipation of the plight of his son. Particularly fragile different facial features and elongated brush hands of Mary, emphasizing its ethereal image. A significant role in the work played by the theological symbols hinting at the incarnation of Christ - lily, olive, palm trees and laurels.
This kind of composition more attracted artists from the 1480s. It altarpiece he is considering himself most carefully choosing them among a plurality of incoming orders. The most outstanding works of this period are the «Altar of St. Barnabas» (another name - «Madonna on the throne with the Saints Catherine of Alexandria, Augustine, Barbara, John the Baptist, Ignatius and the Archangel Michael,» around 1487, Uffizi Gallery, Florence), «Madonna pomegranate «(about 1487, Uffizi Gallery, Florence) and» Madonna of the Magnificat «(another name -» Glorification of the Madonna «, about 1483-1485 years, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence).
Through these and other works, thank Botticelli blared throughout Italy. A case where the Duke of Milan, asked who is the best painter in Florence, and I heard a definite answer - Botticelli, «which is perfectly able to write on the wall, and on the board, and the picture is different extraordinary strength and perfect proportions.»
Portrait even though he was not a favorite genre painter, still occupies an important place in his work. The images of his contemporaries Botticelli sought to adhere to the established traditions of the Florentine profile portrait, though sometimes allowed himself to make some achievements in the work of Dutch masters. Not all works now attributed to the painter, can be considered his handwritten works. Most likely, some of which were written by his students. The earliest portrait is ascribed to the hand of the great Botticelli, is «a young man Portrait» (1470, Palatine Gallery, Florence). Pictured at her very young Florentine, with arrogantly staring at the viewer with big eyes, wearing a red jacket and a traditional Capucci dark cherry color. A young man stands on a background of clear blue sky.
Around 1474 Botticelli was written by the enigmatic «Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Kozimo Medichi the Elder» (Uffizi, Florence). The product has a number of features. For example, depicted in the background of the magnificent scenery of the spring a young man, both hands pressed to his chest a medal engraved with her portrait of Kozimo Medichi. Botticelli some idealized image of the model, softening his features, while stressing its special characteristics - a clear outline of an oval face and a clear direct gaze. Saturated black and red color, costume portrayed create unusually strong color chord. Emotional overtones and introduces surrounding landscape. All internal tone pieces produces tension - an obvious artificiality in the turn of a head, a sad sight, uncertain gesture of hands and a sharp color contrast of the background and the clothes the hero.
The compositional structure of the work is changed in the second half of the 1470 s. Painter no longer uses the landscape background, and all the surrounding space is greatly simplified, at the same time the figure of a model, as a rule, located in three-quarters or profile takes up almost the entire space of the painting. Women’s portraits differ explicit idealization, such as «Portrait Simonet Vespucci» (about 1480, State Museum, Berlin), and the models are mainly located in the profile. Four surviving version of «Portrait of Dzhuliano Medichi» (National Gallery of Washington, Carrera Academy in Bergamo, Meeting chair in Milan and the State Museum in Berlin), have a very peculiar manner of writing. It is not known, belongs to whether at least one of these works of Botticelli’s brush. The compositional structure of all variants Giuliano portrait is almost identical. Model is always located almost in profile on a light background. Thin, smooth line is the main means of expression.
Most portraits, painted by Botticelli, was characterized by a special melancholy tone. Most of the images of the person boys master remained unknown to us. Although the painter preferred to write the people well knew or admired for their spiritual qualities. In the portraits, executed in 1482-1490 years, the aspiration of the artist to a more realistic interpretation of the image. Portraits by masters becomes more is psychological, there are innovations in composite construction, for example, in the painting «Portrait of a young man» (about 1483, National Gallery, London) is a model from the front to the portraitist.
The political upheaval in Florence beginning of the 1490s significantly influenced the life of Sandro Botticelli. In 1492 died Lorenzo the Magnificent. Inherited from his father the power of Pero Medichi, he turned out to be incompetent ruler who brought the whole house of the Medici exile from his native city, as a result of a number of major political mistakes. As a result, came to power, a fierce fighter for the faith and asceticism Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola.
Savonarola has long opposed the tyranny of the Medici family, accusing him of corruption and excessive love of luxury and debauchery. From fierce advocate of faith battered even the Pope, the fiery sermons of the monk found an echo in the hearts of many citizens, which subsequently led to the power of Savonarola. I must say that people do voluntarily followed the monk, apparently tired of the luxurious lifestyle of their rulers, even in the heart of the Dominican Botticelli could cast doubt on the validity of the chosen career. Painter had no one to support his students and friends were also impressed by the new ruler and his beloved brother Giovanni died. As a result, the artist took a waiting position, not adhered to any of the parties to the conflict Savonarola - Medici.
Militant Monk pitched for Florence present «Judgment Day.» February 7, 1497 Piazza della Signoria was kindled a fire in which the townspeople are impressed by the Dominican preaching, burning musical instruments, jewelry, luxury women’s clothes, paintings and do not conform to Christian morality and ethics, as well as convicted Savonarola, as the embodiment of sin. This day was fatal to art history - a lot of young artists, including Botticelli’s most pupils themselves brought and thrown into a «purifying flame» their works. Painter, do not take a direct part in the act of contrition «sinners», perhaps because of his weakened legs will not let him go alone.
Time Savonarola reign was very short-lived, May 23, 1498 the people of Florence slandered monk burned with the same fanaticism with which a year ago burned magnificent works of art. Ironically, at the Botticelli, Dominican penalty made even more impressive than his preaching. Painter began to torment and guilt bouts of hopelessness, his soul rushed to dream about a religious renewal. As a result, doubts and pain in the soul of an artist made him unsociable. Glory to the master began to fade, the orders became increasingly rare.
In the later period of his life, Botticelli creates several paintings or ordered followers of Savonarola, or written under the influence of his sermons. The latter include two altarpiece «Lamentation» (1495, Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan, and in 1500, Alte Pinakothek, Munich). Works stand for a new artist’s interpretation of the Christian drama - how intolerable human misery. All characters depicted in these two papers covered the infinite sorrow for the innocent victims. By order of «pyanoni» (literally «cry-baby») - Savonarola’s followers, the painter wrote «The Last Communion of St. Isronima» (about 1498, Metropolitan Museum, New York) for Francesco del Pugliese; and «St. Augustine» (1490-1495 years, the Uffizi Gallery, Florence), for Giacomo and Bernardo Dzhovannidi. These rare orders allows the artist to somehow keep «afloat.»
In 1502 the health of the master was completely undermined. At this time, for slander and envious detractors, it was instituted legal proceedings against Botticelli for his alleged sodomy. The most likely cause of such suspicion was that over a lifetime a painter and has not entered into a valid marriage. These events are even more complicated the life of the master, and eight years later, at the age of sixty-five years of the great Sandro Botticelli died. He is buried in the cemetery at the Florentine church Onisa.