1445 - 1510

The Birth of Venus


Botticelli was a very talented artist. He became very popular in the Renaissance times. His work is still respected and valued very much.


Botticelli was born in Florence, Italy, in 1445. He spent his whole life in Florence except for a visit to Rome. Botticelli was a member of the Medici family. His real name was Alessandro Filipepi. He was nicknamed Botticelli when he went to live with his brother. There he worked as a goldsmith.

People say that he had deep-set eyes, flowing locks and a salient nose (easily seen or noticed). It was also said that he was a jokester or a prankster.

When Botticelli was 14 or 15 he was sent to the great painter, Fra Filippo. There he learned how to mix colors and clean brushes. Botticelli was greatly influenced by his teacher.

By 1465, Botticelli had his own studio. After the age of 56 no paintings were found that were painted by him. Botticelli died alone and infirm. He lived to be about 65 and died around 1510.


Botticelli became Florence's favorite artist. His paintings were very popular. He made of lots of money. In fact, he could make 50 -100 florins per picture. Botticelli painted religious paintings for churches. He painted three frescos in the Sistine Chapel in 1484.

Botticelli was famous for many paintings. One of these was The Adoration of the Magi. Another one was The Birth of Venus which was done in 1484. Then he painted The Judith. In 1477 he painted Primavera. Botticelli was the artist of Madonna the Magnificent and the masterly group of the Virgin Enthroned. He painted the beautiful Mars and Venus too!

Realism was ignored in Botticelli's paintings. He loved to allergorize (has an underlying meaning). He favored the nude. Botticelli used delicate color and poetic lines. Botticelli used strong, rhythmic and graceful lines, too!


Some people started to copy his work. It is very difficult to tell which are his masterpieces today. Some of the things people started to copy from him were mythical beings, classical beauty and the technique of outlining the pictures.

Madonna of the Pomegranate

Notice the beautiful angels in the background. He used delicate color to make it look soft and peaceful.


1. "Botticelli." The World Book Encyclopedia, 1994, vol. 2, p. 523.

2. Cole, Alison. The Renaissance. London, The National Gallery, 1994, p. 6

3. Durant, Will. The Renaissance. New York, Simon and Schuster Incorporated, 1953.

4. []. Web Museum, Paris, 20 May, 1996.

5. Levey, Michael. Botticelli. New York, Penguin Books, 1967.

6. Venezia, Mike. Botticelli. Chicago, Childrens Press, 1993, pp. 3-29.

This page was prepared by Amy, Grade 8, Riverdale Junior Secondary School.