Looking at a painting: ‘Primavera’ by Botticelli

Primavera by BotticelliIn the Middle Ages, there were no mandatory birth certificates, and many records have crumbled to dust. However, it is believed that in 1445, in a working-class district of Florence, a boy was born to the family of the tanner Mariano di Vanni Filipepi. The boy’s birth date was calculated from a note in the Florence Registry filed by the youngster’s father, who complains that his 13-year-old son, Sandro, is “unhealthy” and “reading.”

We can see from this that the boy, who became the great painter Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), had already formed his personality at this young age. He was rather frail, possibly melancholy, and loved independent intellectual pursuits — a passion obviously not shared by his father.

“Botticelli” means “little barrel”. Sandro’s husky, barrel-shaped brother was given this playful nickname by co-workers. Although Sandro was slender and not at all barrel-shaped, the nickname fell to him as well — and he became known as Sandro Botticelli. It was unusual for him to sign a painting, but when he did, he used this name.

“Primavera,” also known as “Allegory of Spring” is a tempera painting on panel completed by Botticelli around 1482. Although its history is not completely known, it may have been commissioned by one of the Medici family. It has been called one of the best-known paintings in Western art.

Read the full article at Times Bulletin

2 Responses to Looking at a painting: ‘Primavera’ by Botticelli
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    October 4, 2012 | 12:56

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