SANDRO BOTTICELLI,Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale The Birth of Venus by SANDRO BOTTICELLI {Florentine School}

The Birth of Venus by SANDRO BOTTICELLI {Florentine School}


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ALESSANDRO DI MARIANO FILIPEPI, the son of a struggling tanner, derived the
name of Botticelli from his older brother and guardian who, for reasons of
corpulency, was called “the little barrel.”

Under the name of Botticelli, he
won great fame as an artist, and a good living into the bargain-and left the
world a collection of paintings which have been, at one extreme, objects of
mystical adoration; at the other, of cold-blooded disesteem. The causes of
these conflicting assessments are fairly simple.


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Botticelli was an individualist in an age of belligerent singularities. Extra­
ordinarily gifted, and thoroughly trained in the studio of Fra Filippo Lippi,
the healthy monk, he passed on to the influence of Pollaiuolo, from whom he
learned the new secrets of bodily structure and movement, and precise linear

He resented this naturalistic tendency, but he could neither
escape nor continue it. There was a vein of petulant morbidity in his soul, a
dissatisfaction with life; he was not robust enough to shoulder the burden of
realism; and he withdrew into his own introspections, encouraged by his
patrons, the Medici, who were always discussing and misunderstanding the
culture of the Hellenic Greeks.

Philosophically, he was a confused mixture of Neoplatonism, realism, and
an ascetic melancholy that was almost Sienese; but as a stylist he developed
in his own way. He created a personal type of young womanhood-sometimes
a Madonna, sometimes a goddess-and a type of design that are indissolubly
connected with his name: a long, thin face with a pouting mouth and a prom­
inent chin, heavy golden hair, a lithe, undulating body, usually draped in a
transparent gauze, and powdered with elaborate Gothic decorations.

The Birth
of Venus, painted for a Medici villa, is one of his two most remarkable pictures,
the other being the Primavera. The Venus is no sensuous Grecian conception;
she is timid and medieval; but the picture is rich in suggestions, calling up,
with its marvelous linear design and its peculiar ornamentation, nostalgic
visions which have never failed to charm those who do not enjoy realism in art.


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