Spotlight on Sandro Botticelli: A Fully Florentine Renaissance with Sandra Laville

Spotlight on Sandro Botticelli: A Fully Florentine Renaissance with Sandra Laville


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Alessandro Filipepi, more commonly known as Botticelli, is considered to be one of Italy's most outstanding fifteenth-century painters and a hallmark artist of the Early Italian Renaissance. Join Sandra as we discover the fascinating details of Botticelli's life journey, from his early beginnings as an apprentice to his skyrocketing success, and on to his ultimate, tragic demise and the loss of it all. Delve into life in Florence as it was in the fifteenth century, through the eyes, and art, of this remarkable Renaissance artist.

We’ll begin with a discovery of Botticelli's youth and early years as an apprentice in Florence, as well as his early beginnings as an independent artist in a workshop all his own. Explore some of Botticelli's earliest paintings, many of which are virtually unknown to the public eye, and see how he slowly began to emancipate himself from his masters' style and find an artistic identity of his own. We'll also discuss the Early Renaissance as an artistic movement, and the concept of "humanism" as it originated in Florence, and see how this exciting new way of seeing the world was expressed by Botticelli and his peers in their work.

We’ll then take a look at the most exciting and promising period of Botticelli's life: the mature years, during which he became known by the general public and carved out a place for himself as an established and respected artist on the Florentine art scene. We'll also hear about the only trip Botticelli ever took out of Florence, as a guest of Pope Sixtus IVth in Rome, where he painted three frescoes on the walls of the Sistine Chapel, alongside Ghirlandaio, Perugino, and other greats of Tuscan painting.

As we conclude our conversation, we’ll focus on an exploration of the last years of Botticelli's life, and the unfortunate undoing of years of work with the fateful arrival of Girolamo da Savonarola on the scene. Discover how the atmosphere in Florence suddenly changed from the 1480s onwards, learn how a religious rebirth affected Botticelli’s artistic style, and see the last paintings the artist created during this tumultuous time. We’ll learn about his death: a quiet end to a whirlwind of artistic genius and an unparalleled artistic legacy. Led by an expert in art history, this seminar will explore the life, legacy, and works of one of the world’s finest artists. The Context spotlight is bright and shining on Sandro Boticelli.

Sandra is an art historian specializing in the link between European art, history and society from the 15th to the 19th centuries. She holds a Master's degree in Art History from the Université La Sorbonne, where she specialized in Italian Renaissance painting and the iconography of the modern European family. Originally from Canada, she also holds an undergraduate degree in Linguistics, with a double specialization in French and Spanish Language Civilization, and has lived in Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, and Rome, before finally settling in Paris.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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