Sandro Botticelli, original name Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, one of the greatest painters of the Florentine Renaissance. Botticelli’s name is derived from that of his elder brother Giovanni, a pawnbroker who was called Botticello (“Little Barrel”). Sandro preferred painting, his father then placed him under Filippo Lippi, who was one of the most admired Florentine masters. Lippi’s painterly style, which was formed in the early Florentine Renaissance, was fundamental to Botticelli’s own artistic formation, and his influence is evident even in his pupil’s late works. Lippi taught Botticelli the techniques of panel painting and fresco and gave him an assured control of linear perspective. About 1478–81 Botticelli entered his artistic maturity; all tentativeness in his work disappeared and was replaced by a consummate mastery. He was able to integrate figure and setting into harmonious compositions and to draw the human form with a compelling vitality. By his forties, Botticelli was himself a master and contributed to the decoration the Sistine Chapel. Botticelli as impoverished and disabled in his last years, other evidence suggests that he and his family remained fairly prosperous. He received commissions throughout the 1490s. His best known work is The Birth of Venus. He died in 1510.
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