FIFTH CENTENARY OF THE DEATH OF SANDRO BOTTICELLI

FIFTH CENTENARY OF THE DEATH OF SANDRO BOTTICELLI  

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, the real name of Sandro Botticelli, was born in Florence of a relatively modest background in 1445. He spent his first years of study in the workshop of Filippo Lippi who most likely influenced his first paintings of the Madonna. Later he became very close to the Medici family for whom he produced various paintings, especially portraits. After he and the Medicis had to flee Florence, he became influenced by the preaching of Savonarola and changed his painting style focusing more on the sacred. In 1481 he was called to Rome by Sixtus IV who commissioned him to paint three frescoes for the Sistine Chapel: The Life of Moses, The Temptation of Christ, and The Punishment of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. The facial details of the female figures in the first two works have been chosen for the three postage postage stamps in this series dedicated to one of the greatest Italian painters. After his death Sandro Botticelli was almost forgotten and only in the 1800s rediscovered, studied, appreciated and widely imitated.