Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Botticelli, Sandro

Idealized female portrait /Simonetta Vespucci as a nymph
tempera on wood
82 × 54 cm (32.3 × 21.3 in.)
The Städel, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

It's one of the largest 15th century female portraits. She is wearing a hairstyle that can typically be seen on nymphs. The pearls in her hair and braids can also be linked to the nymphs. Simonetta was born Simonetta Cattaneo in 1453 or 1454. At age fifteen or sixteen she married Marco Vespucci, a distant relative of the famous explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci. She became a prominent member of the Medici circle. She was considered to be the greatest beauty in Florence. At a jousting tournament in 1475 she was nominated 'regina della bellezza', queen of the beauty, by Giuliano de Medici. She died in 1476, probably from tubercle bacillus. She was buried in the parish church of the Vespuccio; the Church of Ognissanti in Florence.

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli (c.1445 - 1510) was an Italian painter during the Early Renaissance. He was given the nickname 'Botticelli', derived from the word 'botticello' meaning 'small wine cask'. He belonged to the Florentine school under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici.
At the height of his fame, he was one of the most esteemed artists in Italy. After his death, his name all but disappeared until the late 19th century, when a developing appreciation for Florentine arts and culture brought about a renewed interest in his work. Since then his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting. Among his best known works are The Birth of Venus and Primavera.

Botticelli never wed, and expressed a strong aversion to the idea of marriage. The popular view is that he suffered from an unrequited love for Simonetta Vespucci. According to popular belief, she had served as the model for The Birth of Venus and recurs throughout his paintings, despite the fact that she had died years earlier, in 1476. Botticelli asked that when he died, he be buried at her feet in the Church of Ognissanti in Florence. His wish was carried out when he died some 34 years later, in 1510. He was buried near her in the same church.