Glancing at the list of titles of early Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli's works, one might recognize by name alone two of artist's most beloved masterpieces. They are the Birth of Venus and the Primavera. And it is interesting to note that both of these stunning paintings have as their subject Venus, the Classical goddess of love and beauty. Indeed, Botticelli's Birth of Venus is perhaps one of the most celebrated and famous depictions of this alluring ancient goddess.
One of the main themes of the Italian Renaissance - and remember, renaissance is a rebirth - was the rediscovery of the myths, legends, and art of the Classical world. Artist Sandro Botticelli contributed to this artistic rediscovery with his own interpretations of ancient Greek and Roman mythology. In paintings such as the aforementioned Birth of Venus and Primavera, as well as other images such as Pallas and the Centaur and Venus and Mars, Botticelli created appealing works that were partly based on myth and partly inspired by contemporary poetry and literature. This fusion of ancient and contemporary influences is one of the intriguing characteristics of Renaissance art in general and Botticelli's art in particular.
In addition, many early Renaissance artists also created works based on Christian ideas and imagery. This is especially the case with Botticelli. The painter is legendary for his sensitive and beautiful representations of the Virgin Mary, which is seen in such works as his Annunciation, Madonna of the Magnificat, and Madonna of the Pomegranate. These seemingly odd juxtapositions of Christian and Classical religion resulted in images that appeal to both the mind and spirit. And for all of these reasons, painter Sandro Botticelli is recognized as a true Renaissance master.
History of Italian Renaissance Art
In this impressive book, Professor Frederick Hartt examines the architecture, sculpture, and painting of the Italian Renaissance. First, the roots of the Renaissance are explored, then the Quattrocento and Cinquecento are revealed in this masterful work. And the book features an insightful and informative discussion of painter Sandro Botticelli, including descriptions of many of the artist's most important works.
The Art Book
This book is sure to enhance any art lover's library. Color images grace the pages, and every picture is accompanied by a concise description of each featured work and artist.