Dear Friends,

Now that the introductory section is over, we can begin to study the great art of the world with a more systematic exhibition of the master works of the greatest painters and sculptors in the world history. And although I will keep my purpose to make this forum as simple as possible, I will still include a short notice about the artist featured and also, as before, will try to follow the main historic trends and schools but maintaining the highest possible flexibility in their order of appearance.

Due to several factors that will not be discussed for lack of space, we will not include here the art of the Pre-Renaissance period. Our main reason for it is of a aesthetic order, although the fact that absolutely all works belonging to that period were of a religious nature has also played a role in my decision to abstain from featuring it as it might make the forum too one-sided. Considering this, and in order to be practical, we will simply start this main section with the Renaissance period and, within this, the Early Renaissance followed by the High Renaissance, the Northern Renaissance, and the movement known as Mannerism.

The artists presented within the Early Renaissance will be Luca della Robbia (1400 - 1482), Fra Angellico (1387 - 1455) or maybe Fra Filippo Lippi (1406 - 1469), Piero della Francesca (1422 - 1492), and, inaugurating now this section, the great Sandro Botticelli (1445 - 1510) with a favorite of all times, The Birth of Venus.

It is uncertain who commissioned this painting, one of the first non-biblical female nudes in Italian art where the goddess of love is depicted in accordance with the classical Venus pudica. One thing is certain, though - what is depicted in thin painting is not the moment of the goddess' birth, but the moment when she comes ashore driven on a shell by Zephyr as Venus’ hair, which is playfully fluttering around her face in the wind, is given a particularly fine sheen by the use of fine golden strokes.

As always, visitors are encouraged to post their good feedback.

Thank you,

Luis Miguel Goitizolo


The Birth of Venus
Sandro Botticelli

born 1445?, Florence [Italy]
died May 17, 1510, Florence

Profile (2)

original name  Alessandro Di Mariano Filipepi,  one of the greatest painters of the Florentine Renaissance. His “The Birth of Venus” and “Primavera” are often said to epitomize for modern viewers the spirit of the Renaissance.

Italian painter and draughtsman. In his lifetime he was one of the most esteemed painters in Italy, enjoying the patronage of the leading families of Florence, in particular the Medici and their banking clients. He was summoned to take part in the decoration of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, was highly commended by diplomatic agents to Ludovico Sforza in Milan and Isabella d’Este in Mantua and also received enthusiastic praise from the famous mathematician Luca Pacioli and the humanist poet Ugolino Verino. By the time of his death, however, Botticelli’s reputation was already waning. He was overshadowed first by the advent of what Vasari called the maniera devota, a new style by Perugino, Francesco Francia and the young Raphael, whose new and humanly affective sentiment, infused atmospheric effects and sweet colourism took Italy by storm; he was then eclipsed with the establishment immediately afterwards of the High Renaissance style, which Vasari called the ‘modern manner’, in the paintings of Michelangelo and the mature works of Raphael in the Vatican. From that time his name virtually disappeared until the reassessment of his reputation that gathered momentum in the 1890s.

Technical data (3)

The Birth of Venus
Tempera on canvas
7/8 x 109 5/8 inches (172.5 x 278.5 cm)
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy
Added 10/29/2001


(1) This image is a courtesy of Art Renewal Center.

(2) Source: The Grove Dictionary of Art Online.

(3) Source: Art Renewal Center.