Sandro Botticelli biography

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Sandro Filipepi was born in Florence in 1445, the fourth child of tanner Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi. His nickname was derived from Botticello ("little barrel"), either the nickname of his elder brother or the name of the goldsmith to whom Sandro was first apprenticed.


This can be seen in his first commission 'Fortitude' (1470), painted for the Merchants Guild in Florence. Despite this description of his painting style, he nevertheless produced strong images with an excellent attention to detail and good use of perspective though unlike many of that time he did not really concern himself with working out the exact details of either perspective or anatomy for that matter. This indifference with anatomy is one of the ways in which Bottacelli manages to produce the serene quality in many of figures in his paintings.
Through the influence of Verocchio and the brothers Pollajuoli this idealism was combined with the naturalness of Masaccio. These qualities explain Botticelli's great influence over later painters. Botticelli's life was a retired one passed largely in very modest circumstances. We know, however that he was in the employ of the Medici and other prominent Florentine families from about 1483 to 1500. Although never inclined to frivolity he was yet influence by the worldly spirit of the age until Savonarola's powerful call to repentance aroused his moral nature and guided his powers, it now seems, into entirely new paths. He never knew how to take care of money and he died at last in need. ...
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