c.1445 - 1510
Alessandro Botticelli was a major painter of the Italian Renaissance, working prominently under the patronage of the Florentine bankers of the Medici family. He painted portrait and religious scenes but is arguably best known for his mythological works of Roman gods and goddesses and his interest in portraying the female form.
Primavera is a prime example of this type of work. It depicts various classical deities in the garden of Venus, pictured in the centre of the composition. On the left are Mercury, the god of war, who reaches up to the orange trees (which represent the Medici family), and the three graces dancing in their circle and targeted by the blindfolded Cupid above Venus. To the right is the scene of Zephyr kidnapping the nymph Cloris, next to her later transformation Flora, the goddess of Spring.
An example of Botticelli’s portraiture is the piece below depicting Giuliano de Medici, who was murdered by the Pazzi family in 1478.
Botticelli is easily one of my favourite artists, The Birth of Venus being possibly my favourite painting of all time.
Portrait of Giuliano de Medici c.1475