The Life and Art of Sandro Botticelli
The age of the Renaissance in Italy was graced with many
extraordinary artists, one of which was the painter Sandro
Botticelli.He is believed to be born between the years 1444 and
1445 (there is no official birth date recorded), to Mariano
Filipepi of Florence, Italy.His surname was changed to
Botticelli because of the nickname'Il Botticello' given to him
as a young boy, which means'Little Barrel.'(Ettlinger 7) Sandro
benefitted greatly from the arts and politics alive in the city.
Florence itself is one of the larger cities in Italy and had a
growing and prosperous merchant class with ties to all the major
European countries (Ettlinger 7).The leader of the time that
ruled Florence with a strong hand, who would eventually
commission Botticelli's work, was Cosimo de' Medici.There was a
strong contempt towards the corruption of the Church and clergy
at the time, and an appreciation of holiness that is reflected in
the abundant naturalism of the artworks produced (Lightbown 14).
This, as well as the importance of being well skilled and
knowledgeable in sport, art, music, history, classic Greek and
Latin works, and military strategy were all elements of the
humanistic movement that was developing during Botticelli's
childhood.The important writers being read at the time were
Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio; Dante's Divina Commedia having
the strongest impact on Botticelli (Lightbown 15).
Botticelli acquired hisfirst craft out of admiration for
his eldest brother Antonio, who was a goldsmith for Antonio
Finiguerra (Lightbown 16).Not content with the life of
a goldsmith, Sandro's father placed him in an apprenticeship to
Filippo Lippi at a time no later than 1460 because it was
accustomed for boys of fourteen or fifteen to gain
apprenticeships, but no later (Ettlinge…