Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance.
He belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de Medici, a movement that Giorgio Vasari would characterize less than a hundred years later as a golden age a thought, suitably enough, he expressed at the head of his Vita of Botticelli.
Botticellis posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting. Among his best known works are The Birth of Venus and Primavera.
In these works, the influence of Gothic realism is tempered by Botticellis study of the antique. But if the painterly means may be understood, the subjects themselves remain fascinating for their ambiguity. The complex meanings of these paintings continue to receive widespread scholarly attention, mainly focusing on the poetry and philosophy of humanists who were the artists contemporaries. The works do not illustrate particular texts; rather, each relies upon several texts for its significance. Of their beauty, characterized by Vasari as exemplifying grace and by John Ruskin as possessing linear rhythm, there can be no doubt. The pictures features Botticellis linear style emphasized by the soft continual contours and pastel colors.
In the mid-1480s, Botticelli worked on a major fresco cycle with Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Filippino Lippi, for Lorenzo the Magnificents villa near Volterra; in addition he painted many frescoes in Florentine churches. In 1491 he served on a committee to decide upon a façade for the Cathedral of Florence.