Sandro Botticelli (1445 - 1510) was a famous painter in Florence at the end of the 15th century and the last painter of the Florentine School of Early Renaissance painting in Europe. His paintings of the Madonna and Child are very famous. Influenced by Dutch portraiture, Botticelli was also a pioneer of Italian portraiture.
Representative works: "The Pilgrimage of the Three Magi", "Spring", "The Virgin", "Venus and the God of War", "The Birth of Venus", "The Annunciation", "Defamation", "Mysterious Nativity Picture" ", "Pallas and Kentaurus".
Botticelli was born into a middle-class family of artisans in Florence, Italy. In 1481, Botticelli was called to Rome to paint frescoes, the only time he left Florence to paint outside. Botticelli followed the "Savarnerola" style from the 1590s, which is reflected in his later religious paintings, which are less decorative and more religious. During the 1580s and 1590s, Botticelli was the most famous artist in Florence. His religious humanism is obvious, full of secular spirit. In the later paintings, many works with the theme of classical mythology were added, and quite a few of them used the theme of ancient Greek and Roman mythology, with elegant, beautiful, delicate and moving styles.
In 1470, he opened a personal painting studio, and was quickly appreciated by the Medici family, who ordered a large number of paintings from him. Good relations with the powerful Medici family also gave the painter political protection and favorable conditions for painting. During the 1580s and 1590s, Bocelli was the most famous artist in Florence. By the 19th century, his style was greatly admired and considered a precursor to Raphael.
During the reign of the Medici family, Botticelli made many famous paintings for them and became famous. In 1477, he painted the famous "Spring" (The Allegory of Spring) for Lorenzo Medici's newly purchased villa with the theme of Politian's long poem in praise of Venus. This painting has become, along with The Birth of Venus, two of Botticelli's most famous paintings in his lifetime.
However, the socio-political situation was changeable, and in 1492, a political upheaval occurred in Florence, Lorenzo died, the Medici family was exiled, and the religious extremist Savonarola came to power. Botticelli was also one of his followers, and burned several of his paintings in the infamous "bonfire of vanity". Perhaps because of this reason, Botticelli's reputation declined in the second half of his life. In the last few years of his life, he did not ask about the world and was alone. In 1510, Botticelli died of poverty and loneliness and was buried in the cemetery of the "All Saints" church in Florence.
"Spring" is also known as "The Prosperity of Venus". In medieval religious paintings, generally only the Virgin Mary was placed under the vault. Botticelli borrowed this form here. Behind Venus, Botticelli consciously left such an arch with the branches and the background sky. The dark background of the woods, just around her, suddenly opened up, highlighting the status of Venus as the protagonist. She was holding a dress in her left hand and slightly raised her right hand, with a dignified and elegant manner. "Spring" is based on the allegorical poem of the famous poet Polisian at that time. On an early spring morning, in the beautiful and quiet orchard, Venus, the dignified and charming god of love and beauty, was in the center, with a relaxed and elegant expression. Waiting for a grand ceremony for the coming of spring.
Botticelli depicts the eternal spring, all with great lightness and grace. "This expressive technique is to painting what music is to speech." Many poets in history praised the god Venus. The Medici court poet Polizziano said: Venus walks in the moonlight, as solemn as a queen, as warm as a spring breeze. On the way she walks, all things sprout and flowers bloom. Venus in mythology is a symbol of beauty; it is also the incarnation of the source of all life. Botticelli's Venus is the goddess who represents the source of life. At the top right of the picture is the god of wind, he embraces the god of spring, and the god of spring embraces the god of flowers. The god of flowers, decorated with flowers, sprinkles flowers on the ground; in the middle of the picture stands the goddess Venus, flying above her head holding the love of love. Cupid, the little love god of arrows; on the right side of Venus are the three beauties dancing hand in hand, they symbolize "Hua Mei", "Chastity" and "Joy" respectively, bringing joy of life to the world; the left side of the picture is Mercury, the envoy of the main god Zeus, has a pair of flying scuds, and holds a staff of peace with two snakes in his hands. His gestures will immediately dispel the haze of winter, and spring will come to the earth. This is a picture depicting the rejuvenation of the earth and the theme of joy and happiness. However, the mood of the characters in the painting does not have an atmosphere of joy, like a northwest wind blowing in spring, shrouded in a layer of spring chill and sorrow; Venus, who is thoughtful, enters his inner world like no one else; three The dancing posture of Meishen seems to be ordered to dance, which makes the audience puzzled. In terms of painting techniques, Spring did not use the oil painting technique that was popular in Flanders at that time, but adopted the traditional egg white painting method. The gorgeous decorative effect on the screen is even more intense. Since the egg whites dry to form a hard layer of color, it is a transparent color, so in this painting we can feel the pure, transparent effect that is close to watercolor painting.
Botticelli's artistic achievements are concentrated in his elegant style, bright and brilliant colors, smooth and light lines, and a delicate and tranquil poetic style, which has influenced generations of artists and is still fascinating today.
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