Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as simply Sandro Botticelli, was born in Florence, Italy, probably in or around 1445. Serendipitously winning a high-profile commission from the Florentine court, he was catapulted to notoriety as wealthy patrons, in particular the Medici family, hired him to create works that celebrated their lives and their family’s lives and marked important events such as weddings. Botticelli’s range was wide: he embellished the walls of the Sistine Chapel with three frescoes, illustrated Dante’s The Divine Comedy (just under100 drawings still exist), and painted both mythological and religious scenes—Primavera and The Birth of Venus, and Adoration of the Magi, being respective examples of his excellence in the genre. Botticelli never wed, possibly due to his unrequited love for the married Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci, who died very young. By the end of 15th century, Botticelli came to believe that Humanism—a philosophy embraced by the Medici family—was amoral. His reaction was to burn many of his paintings and thereafter to produce only religious-themed works.
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About the Author
Isabella Alston was born in Los Angeles. As a dual citizen of Switzerland and the U.S., she considers both Europe and America home. Isabella studied Art History and Italian at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. She is a free-lance writer, artist, and astrologer currently living on the North Carolina coast with her husband, a U.S. Marine, and their dog, Archer.