Botticelli’s Spring

renaissance was a time of wonderful art, though one artist in particular stood
out, that was Sandro Botticelli. This man created some of the most renowned
pieces of art in European history; one great painting was Allegory of Spring.

This mythological artwork was an amazing change from the normalcy of past times.

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Botticellis Allegory of Spring, painted in 1482, is one of the most
remarkable and astounding pieces of renaissance art with the wondrous symbols,
style, story of the piece and also the intriguing history of Botticelli himself.

Botticelli is considered one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance; one of
his finest works was Allegory of Spring. Botticelli, originally named Alessandro
di Mariano Filiapepi, was born in Florence, Italy in 1445. He was nicknamed “Botticelli”;
meaning little barrel, this name was originally bestowed upon his older brother
but for some reason passed on to and adopted by his little brother (4:68). He
was first an apprentice to a goldsmith, though at about age thirteen or fourteen
he stopped training and traded to painting. He was an apprentice to Filippo
Lippi. This mans style formed many of Botticellis early works. Botticelli
also worked with painter and engraver Antonio del Pollaiuolo. Botticelli had his
own workshop by 1470; there he spent most of his life working for many great
families in Florence at the time, especially the Medici family. As one of the
artist in the court of Lorenzo de Medici, he was immensely influenced by its
Christian Neoplatonism (5:7). With this in mind he tried to reconcile classical
and Christian views. Though working for himself a lot he was also commissioned
by many others. He joined Perugino, Ghirlandaio, and Rosselli from 1481 for one
year to paint frescos for the Sistine Chapel. Botticelli worked with some
consequential artist of the Florentine Renaissance, which would shape and change
his style of painting. Botticellis works are seen as a landmark of high
renaissance. He created some of the greatest works of this time. His early
pieces were mostly of the virgin and child (1:78). He first made a name for
himself when in 1470 he was public commissioned to paint Fortitude, which would
be hung in the Trade law court in Florence. One of his first real milestones was
the creation of the Adoration of the Magi, which he painted around 1473-1475.

This painting veered away from some of his earlier more morbid content. This was
one of the first pieces commissioned by the Medici family, who in this case gave
many guidelines for the young Botticelli to follow. Botticelli would go on to
paint Portrait of an unknown man with a medallion of Cosimo the Elder, in the
same time period (5:42). Then he would create one of the most well known
Allegory of Spring, quite different subject matter from times before with the
conceptions of mythological characters and a defined plot. Then in 1481 he went
to Rome to work on frescos of the Sistine Chapel ordered by Pope Sixtus IV.

After this he went on to create the sister painting to Allegory of Spring, Birth
of Venus. Botticelli continued to create heroic works of art portraying many
different stories and characters. He painted an array of religious artwork as
well as portraits and mythological pieces. He was a well-rounded painter who
will influence the art world for centuries after his death in 1510.

Botticellis style of painting was a combination of the influences of his
teacher, but the time and his own creative energy help determine much of his
work. Botticelli was an apprentice to Lippi who had a huge influence and him
defined many of his early works. Lippi taught Botticelli the concept of drawing
outlines, this was to create the effect of transparency, and to give the
painting a certain fluidity and harmony (2:69). A viewer can see this in many of
Botticellis work including Allegory of Spring. Botticelli was also influenced
by the Pollaiolo brother whom he also works with. These men taught him emotive
force and also the usage of color. An obvious idea, which can be viewed in many
of Botticellis allegorical paintings, including Allegory of Spring, is the
greater amount of luminosity, as well as a softer look of pride (2:70).

Botticelli wanted to accentuate the elegance of the pose and the decoration of
the characters also. This artist held a great adhesion to the neo-platonic style
of Marsilio Ficino and Agnolo Poliziano. Not only was Botticelli influenced by
certain people of this time he was also influenced by the


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