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Sandro Botticelli Art Prints and Posters
Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi was born in Florence, the son of a tanner, but soon became known as Botticelli, which more or less means 'Little Barrel'. Not much is known about 'Fatbum's' early career apart from him being apprenticed to a goldsmith, then to Fra Filipo Filippi.
By 1470 he had his own studio and was head-hunted by those corporate coyotes of the Renaissance, the Medici, who kept him busy knocking out family portraits, religious works and mythological allegories, them being subscribers to Christian Neoplatonism (i.e. 'hedging your spiritual bets').
Very early in his career Sandro achieved near superstar status with his new paintings, which were eagerly-awaited as the latest Michael Jackson release (also somewhat hard to come by in Renaissance Florence) and crowds turned out in their thousands to view their unveiling (although pre-release bootlegs often blew the whole show).
Sandro lived his whole life in Florence apart from the early 1480s when he piled his paints into an old Ford Transit and set off for Rome to fresco up the Sistine Chapel walls.
In the 1490s several kinds of argy-bargy resulted in the mazuma mad Medicis being kicked out of Florence by the Ayatollah of piety and religious loony known as Savonarola. By some quirk of fate, this period coincided exactly with Sandro's own re-examination of his religious beliefs and sudden out-pouring of Biblical works.
As the High Renaissance kicked in, Sandro fell out (of favour) and died in relative obscurity (10 kilometres down the autostrada from Complete Oblivion). Consequently, until the mid 19th century you could have picked up a Botticelli for a madrigal but then Ruskin set about organising Sandro's big come-back gig.Copyright Michael Cox