I can hardly write anything new about the life and work of Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), one of the most famous Italian painters of the Renaissance time.
I have been attracted to his art since my childhood and I am extremely happy that last year I managed to see some of his works in Florence.
Unquestionable master of the brush. One of the geniuses of the Renaissance art.
My words are powerless to express my admiration and adoration over all that this great man and painter has left us.
I’m going to tell you about his favourite model – Simonetta Vespucci (1490-1476), also called La Bella Simonetta and recognised as The Queen of the Beauty of North Italy at that time.
Simonetta has been daughter of an Italian nobleman from Genoa, and had married only sixteen years old for the Florentine Marco Vespucci. Moving to Florence, she has become a very popular and loved woman for her beauty.
The story claims that she has been loved by the two brothers Lorenzo and Giuliano, heirs of the then rulers of Florence – the family De Medici. Without any real evidence therefore, because at that time such a story would be extremely scandalous for a lady with a noble Florentine surname. More likely the brothers have been attracted by her incredible beauty.
Sandro paints her repeatedly. He paints her portraits or embeds her in some of his paintings, which today enjoy greatest popularity – Primavera, The Three Graces and The Birth of Venus, where Simonetta is painted as Flora and the Venus herself.
Simonetta has died very young from tuberculosis, only 22 years old. The burial process has gone through the entire city, and her coffin had remained open so that the citizens of Florence could had admired her beauty for the last time.
It is not known if Simonetta posed for Sandro at all while she has been alive, because his pictures with her image are dated with years after her death.
Looks like he has painted her from memories. What a sad apotheosis of beauty.
You can see his works on Wikipedia, but I strongly recommend that you visit Florence to see them with your own eyes.