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He captured a listing in the Guinness Book of World Records with the release of his classical album Sacred Arias , as he simultaneously held the top three positions on the US Classical Albums charts.
Singer Celine Dion has said that "if God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli",   and record producer David Foster has often described Bocelli's voice as the most beautiful in the world.
Bocelli was born to Alessandro and Edi Bocelli on September 22, It was evident at birth that Bocelli had numerous problems with his sight, and he was eventually diagnosed with congenital glaucoma.
Bocelli showed a great passion for music as a young boy. His mother has said that music was the only thing that would comfort him. He started piano lessons at age 6 and later learned to play the flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitar, and drums.
At age 12, Bocelli lost his sight completely following an accident during an association football game. Doctors resorted to leeches in a last-ditch effort to save his sight, but they were unsuccessful and he remained blind.
Bocelli also spent time singing during his childhood. In , Italian rock star Zucchero held auditions for tenors to make a demo tape of his song "Miserere", to send to Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
After hearing Bocelli on tape, Pavarotti urged Zucchero to use Bocelli instead of him. Zucchero eventually persuaded Pavarotti to record the song with Bocelli, and it became a hit throughout Europe.
In Zucchero's European concert tour in , Bocelli accompanied him to sing the duet, and he was also given solo sets in the concerts, singing " Nessun dorma " from Giacomo Puccini 's opera Turandot.
He won the preliminary competition with the highest marks ever recorded in the newcomers section. Following his win, Bocelli released his debut album of the same name in April, and it entered the Italian Top Ten, being certified platinum within weeks.
In May , he toured with pop singer Gerardina Trovato. Peter's Basilica at Christmas. As winner of the newcomers section at the Sanremo Festival, Bocelli was invited to return the following year.
His third album, Viaggio Italiano , was released in Italy in Changing the title lyric of the song to " Time to Say Goodbye ", they re-recorded it as a duet with members of the London Symphony Orchestra and sang it as a farewell for Maske.
With sales nearing three million copies, and a sextuple platinum award, "Time to Say Goodbye" eclipsed the previous best-selling single by more than one million copies.
He also recorded a Portuguese version of the song with Brazilian singer Sandy. Released in December , the song became a hit in Belgium Wallonia and France, where it reached No.
In the summer of he gave 22 open-air concerts in Germany, and an indoor concert in Oberhausen on 31 August. It also marked as Bocelli's debut to the American audiences.
On 19 October, he sang at the TeleFood benefit concert held in the Vatican City to raise awareness about world hunger. The song also appeared on the Quest for Camelot soundtrack in and on Bocelli's album, Sogno , the following year.
Actress Elizabeth Taylor stood by his side on the stage during the encore, while he sang "The Prayer". His seventh album Sacred Arias , which contains exclusively sacred music , was released worldwide on 8 November, and two weeks later reached number one on the US Classic Billboard charts — making Bocelli the first vocalist to hold all top three places on the chart, with Aria, the opera album in second place, and Viaggio Italiano in third place.
The album also included the hymn of the Holy Year which was chosen as the official version by the Vatican in October. On 30 November, his book La musica del silenzio , an autobiographical novel, was released in Italy,  and in it was turned into a movie as The Music of Silence , directed by Michael Radford.
From 12 to 21 December, he performed six concerts in Barcelona , Strasbourg , Lisbon, Zagreb , Budapest and Messina , some of which were broadcast on local television.
He also performed on German television; Wetten, dass..? On 31 December, he finished a marathon twenty-four concerts in thirty days, with a concert at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New York, welcoming in the new millennium.
At the 42nd Grammy Awards , Bocelli was nominated twice. Bocelli performed it with Dion at the ceremony.
His "World Tour " started on 31 March. His world tour continued from 12 to 14 May with four concerts in Japan and South Korea. The concert was a dedication to his father, who died in the beginning of His seventh album, Verdi , was released on 11 September.
In September, he performed three concerts in Australia. In December, he received another award in Germany, the Goldene Europa for classical music.
On 19 March, the Requiem album was released with Bocelli as tenor. On 17 June, he performed at the re-opening of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
At the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice on 4 October, he presented his new album Cieli di Toscana and was recognised for having sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.
In October, he opened the celebrations of the th anniversary of the birth of Sicilian opera composer Vincenzo Bellini in Catania.
In November, he received the Platinum Europe Award for one million sales of the album Cieli di Toscana , and at the Italian Music Awards he was given a special award from the Federation of the Italian Music Industry for his merits as an "Ambassador of Italian music in the world".
Bush and Italian president Silvio Berlusconi. On 14 October, he and Lorin Maazel presented his new album Sentimento to a worldwide audience.
Further presentations took place in Milan and New York, and the album was released on 4 November, selling over two million copies in 40 days. On 24 October, he started his Sentimento tour in Zürich which took in large arenas in several European and North American cities.
In March for the first time he appeared as a producer, at the Sanremo Festival, where the young artists Allunati and Jacqueline Ferry sang for his new record label, Clacksong.
In June, he continued his Sentimento tour in Athens and Cyprus. In Bologna in January, he performed as Werther in four performances of the opera of the same name.
In June, his third complete opera Il trovatore was released. In June, he performed at the Deutsche Opera in Berlin. On 2 July, he performed at the Paris concert as part of the Live 8 event.
The album Werther was released in December. The award was presented to him at the Sanremo Festival where he performed a duet with American singer Christina Aguilera on 4 March.
In April , he featured as a guest coach on American Idol helping the finalists sing the week's themed songs, "Greatest Love Songs.
They also performed on J. The concert was later released as Vivere Live in Tuscany. October saw the release of the opera album of Ruggiero Leoncavallo 's Pagliacci with Bocelli singing the role of Canio.
In December, he finished his tour with more concerts in North America and Europe. The show was broadcast on 23 December.
The album, Vivere , sold over 3 million copies. He sang "La voce del silenzio" — "The voice of silence" — and "Dare to Live" during the ceremony.
Italia Onlus", a foundation that helps poor and disabled children around the world. Bocelli later praised Filipina teen-aged singer Charice , whom he had first heard perform at that concert.
On 2 June , he performed at the Piazza del Duomo, Milan in front of 80, people during a concert celebrating the anniversary of the Republic of Italy's formation.
The concert was a tribute to the cinema of Italy. He was accompanied by the I Solisti Veneti orchestra, celebrating its 50th birthday and conducted by Claudio Scimone , and by the Wiener Singakademie choir.
The concert was a celebration of Giacomo Puccini 's th birthday. On 24 October, he performed at Piazza del Plebiscito in Naples, as a tribute to the city, where he celebrated the Italian release of Incanto.
On 3 November, My Christmas , his first Holiday album , produced by David Foster , was released and went on to become the best-selling Holiday album of the year.
He completed his performance in Leicester Square with, "God Bless Us Everyone", the closing song of the movie, which he provided the vocals for in English, Italian and Spanish.
Rai Uno also broadcast the performance later that day, during the Zecchino d'Oro Festival. It was also announced that Bocelli would return to the show on 20 December and give a live concert of My Christmas.
In North America, Bocelli gave 6 concerts. Lauderdale, Florida. His last three arena concerts alone grossed a total of over 5,6 million dollars, placing him third on Billboard Magazine 's week's Hot Tours ranking, behind the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Il Divo , who both held over 5 times more concerts worldwide, compared to Bocelli's three in the United States, explaining their better showings.
He performed the song again on 30 November during The Today Show also live. Blige , and later closed the show with Adeste Fideles , was also aired the same day, and was later rebroadcast on 23 December.
He also performed a number of songs from the album, including " The Christmas Song " with Natalie Cole , during a dinner at David Foster 's mansion in Malibu , which was featured on The Dr.
Phil Show , on 10 December. However, due to financial and political reasons, the concert was later canceled on short notice, along with all the other events scheduled for Christmas in the city.
Blige and David Foster joined forces again, singing " Bridge over Troubled Water " as a tribute to the victims of that year's earthquake in Haiti.
He was joined by Heather Headley and musicians from the Stockholm Concert Orchestra, in all three concerts, and by Swedish mezzo-soprano Malena Ernman in his Swedish concert.
On 25 July, Bocelli held the fifth and final edition of the Teatro del Silenzio , in his hometown of Lajatico , Tuscany.
Sculptures by Swiss artist Kurt Laurenz Metzler , who attended the concert, were exhibited during this year's edition.
Bocelli was also awarded the Pisano Doc , during the dress rehearsal for the concert, on 24 July, and received the Premio Lunezia nel mondo , during a private ceremony held on 21 July, for "the musical-literary quality of his songs.
All proceeds were donated to help cure cancer. Bocelli also gave concerts in Cairo , Egypt, in front of the pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza , as well as a fundraising concert inside the Duomo di Milano to benefit victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Bocelli also took part in the Christmas in Washington special on 12 December. In January, Bocelli gave three concerts in Germany.
In February, Bocelli performed a recital on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera house as part of the tour. On 17 November, he performed at the Children in Need Rocks Manchester concert, gaining critical acclaim for receiving a standing ovation from a crowd of pop and indie music fans.
He cancelled a third performance with pharyngitis after suffering vocal strain throughout. A new studio album entitled Passione , featuring duets with Jennifer Lopez and Nelly Furtado , was released on 29 January Bocelli released his fifteenth studio album Cinema on 23 October It contains renditions of classic film soundtracks and scores , featuring duets with Ariana Grande , Nicole Scherzinger and his wife Veronica Berti.
On 7 May , Bocelli performed at the King Power Stadium before Leicester City 's final match of the —16 Premier League against Everton , as part of the club's title celebrations.
The song is a duet version of Sheeran's song " Perfect ", with many of the original English lyrics sung in Italian. In June , Bocelli released the single "If Only", his first after fourteen years.
The two performed the song on 22 October episode of Dancing With the Stars. Bocelli is a widely popular singer with a substantial fan base worldwide.
However, he is also a polarizing figure in classical music, whose voice and performances have routinely been the subject of negative reviews by critics.
Italian spinto tenor Franco Corelli praised Bocelli's voice after hearing it for the first time during a master class in , in Turin , and he later gave Bocelli private lessons.
And this purity of heart and beauty of sound just touches the listener. It can't be described. Celine Dion said while introducing him during her Christmas Special for These Are Special Times , in , that "if God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli,"   and David Foster , a producer of the album, often describes Bocelli's voice as the most beautiful in the world.
Similarly, jazz singer Al Jarreau , who performed with Bocelli on the " Night of the Proms " tour in Europe in , described him as "the most beautiful voice in the world,"  and American talk show host Oprah Winfrey commented on her talk show that, "when I hear Andrea sing, I burst into tears.
God has kissed this man and I thank God for it. Bocelli's voice, more specifically his interpretation of opera, has been regularly criticized by classical music critics.
Bocelli's voice is warm and pleasant, but he lacks the technique to support and project his sound. His sustained notes wobble.
His soft high notes are painfully weak. Inadequate breath control often forces him to clip off notes prematurely at the end of phrases.
In describing Bocelli's singing, The New York Times music critic Bernard Holland noted, "the tone is rasping, thin and, in general, poorly supported.
Even the most modest upward movement thins it even more, signalling what appears to be the onset of strangulation. To his credit, Mr Bocelli sings mostly in tune.
But his phrasing tends toward carelessness and rhythmic jumble The diction is not clear. Bocelli's voice — though robust in spirit and precisely in tune, even in the upper register — had a thin quality that never opened up.
During a performance in New York, the music critic Steve Smith wrote "For cognoscenti of vocal artistry the risks involved in Mr.
Bocelli's undertakings, both then and now, need no explanation. Substantial technical shortcomings masked by amplification are laid bare in a more conventional classical setting.
Bocelli's tone can be pleasant, and his pitch is generally secure. But his voice is small and not well supported; his phrasing, wayward and oddly inexpressive.
In , Joe Banno of The Washington Post gave an unfavorable review of Bocelli's Carmen recording , describing the oft-noted failings in Bocelli's vocal resources on full display in this performance: "Bocelli, to be fair, possesses an essentially lovely tenor and knows his stuff when it comes to selling a pop ballad.
And Decca's close miking of his puny voice inflates his sound to near-Franco Corelli-like dimensions. But his short-breathed, clumsily phrased, interpretively blank and often pinched and strained singing makes his Don Jose a tough listen.
Bocelli met his first wife, Enrica Cenzatti,  while singing at piano bars early in his career. Their first child, son Amos, was born 22 February They met in In September , the couple announced that Berti was expecting her first and Bocelli's third child, a daughter,  in the spring.
His daughter Virginia was born 21 March Bocelli's first wife and two sons live in the couple's previous residence in the same comune , in Versilia.
On 30 April , Bocelli's father, Alessandro Bocelli, died. His mother encouraged him to honor his commitments, and so he sang for Pope John Paul II , in Rome, on 1 May, and immediately returned home for the funeral.
Although he is blind, Bocelli has enjoyed horseback riding for much of his life. A section of the beach in Jesolo , on the Italian Adriatic coast , was named after Bocelli on 11 August Botticelli's largest altarpiece, the San Marco Altarpiece x cm, Uffizi , is the only one to remain with its full predella , of five panels.
In the air above four saints, the Coronation of the Virgin is taking place in a heavenly zone of gold and bright colours that recall his earlier works, with encircling angels dancing and throwing flowers.
In contrast, the Cestello Annunciation —90, Uffizi forms a natural grouping with other late paintings, especially two of the Lamentation of Christ that share its sombre background colouring, and the rather exaggerated expressiveness of the bending poses of the figures.
It does have an unusually detailed landscape, still in dark colours, seen through the window, which seems to draw on north European models, perhaps from prints.
Of the two Lamentations , one is in an unusual vertical format, because, like his Saint Sebastian , it was painted for the side of a pillar in the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Florence ; it is now in Milan.
The other, horizontal, one was painted for a chapel on the corner of Botticelli's street; it is now in Munich. In both the crowded, intertwined figures around the dead Christ take up nearly all the picture space, with only bare rock behind.
The Virgin has swooned , and the other figures form a scrum to support her and Christ. Both probably date from to Early records mentioned, without describing it, an altarpiece by Botticelli for the Convertite, an institution for ex-prostitutes, and various surviving unprovenanced works were proposed as candidates.
It is now generally accepted that a painting in the Courtauld Gallery in London is the Pala delle Convertite , dating to about — Its subject, unusual for an altarpiece, is the Holy Trinity , with Christ on the cross, supported from behind by God the Father.
Angels surround the Trinity, which is flanked by two saints, with Tobias and the Angel on a far smaller scale right in the foreground.
This was probably a votive addition, perhaps requested by the original donor. The four predella scenes, showing the life of Mary Magdalen , then taken as a reformed prostitute herself, are in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
After about or Botticelli seems to have painted no more large religious paintings, though production of Madonnas probably continued.
The smaller narrative religious scenes of the last years are covered below. Cestello Annunciation , , x cm, Uffizi. Lamentation over the Dead Christ , Milan.
Pala delle Convertite , c. Paintings of the Madonna and Child , that is, the Virgin Mary and infant Jesus , were enormously popular in 15th-century Italy in a range of sizes and formats, from large altarpieces of the sacra conversazione type to small paintings for the home.
They also often hung in offices, public buildings, shops and clerical institutions. These smaller paintings were a steady source of income for painters at all levels of quality, and many were probably produced for stock, without a specific commission.
Botticelli painted Madonnas from the start of his career until at least the s. He was one of the first painters to use the round tondo format, with the painted area typically some to cm across about four to five feet.
This format was more associated with paintings for palaces than churches, though they were large enough to be hung in churches, and some were later donated to them.
He used the tondo format for other subjects, such as an early Adoration of the Magi in London,  and was apparently more likely to paint a tondo Madonna himself, usually leaving rectangular ones to his workshop.
Botticelli's Virgins are always beautiful, in the same idealized way as his mythological figures, and often richly dressed in contemporary style.
Although Savonarola 's main strictures were against secular art, he also complained of the paintings in Florentine churches that "You have made the Virgin appear dressed as a whore",  which may have had an effect on Botticelli's style.
They are often accompanied by equally beautiful angels, or an infant Saint John the Baptist the patron saint of Florence.
Some feature flowers, and none the detailed landscape backgrounds that other artists were developing. Many exist in several versions of varying quality, often with the elements other than the Virgin and Child different.
Many of these were produced by Botticelli or, especially, his workshop, and others apparently by unconnected artists. When interest in Botticelli revived in the 19th century, it was initially largely in his Madonnas, which then began to be forged on a considerable scale.
In the Magnificat Madonna in the Uffizi cm or She holds the baby Jesus, and is surrounded by wingless angels impossible to distinguish from fashionably-dressed Florentine youths.
Botticelli painted a number of portraits, although not nearly as many as have been attributed to him. There are a number of idealized portrait-like paintings of women which probably do not represent a specific person several closely resemble the Venus in his Venus and Mars.
With one or two exceptions his small independent panel portraits show the sitter no further down the torso than about the bottom of the rib-cage.
Women are normally in profile, full or just a little turned, whereas men are normally a "three-quarters" pose, but never quite seen completely frontally.
Even when the head is facing more or less straight ahead, the lighting is used to create a difference between the sides of the face.
Backgrounds may be plain, or show an open window, usually with nothing but sky visible through it. A few have developed landscape backgrounds. These characteristics were typical of Florentine portraits at the beginning of his career, but old-fashioned by his last years.
Many portraits exist in several versions, probably most mainly by the workshop; there is often uncertainty in their attribution.
His male portraits have also often held dubious identifications, most often of various Medicis, for longer than the real evidence supports.
Botticelli often slightly exaggerates aspects of the features to increase the likeness. Young Man, Pitti Palace , perhaps Portrait of a Lady Known as Smeralda Brandini , s, shown as pregnant.
Giuliano de' Medici , who was assassinated in the Pazzi conspiracy. Several versions , all perhaps posthumous. Portrait of a Young Man c. Portrait of a young woman , possibly Simonetta Vespucci , La Bella Simonetta Simonetta Vespucci , c.
Botticelli had a lifelong interest in the great Florentine poet Dante Alighieri , which produced works in several media. Botticelli's attempt to design the illustrations for a printed book was unprecedented for a leading painter, and though it seems to have been something of a flop, this was a role for artists that had an important future.
The Divine Comedy consists of cantos, and the printed text left space for one engraving for each canto. However, only 19 illustrations were engraved, and most copies of the book have only the first two or three.
The first two, and sometimes three, are usually printed on the book page, while the later ones are printed on separate sheets that are pasted into place.
This suggests that the production of the engravings lagged behind the printing, and the later illustrations were pasted into the stock of printed and bound books, and perhaps sold to those who had already bought the book.
Unfortunately Baldini was neither very experienced nor talented as an engraver, and was unable to express the delicacy of Botticelli's style in his plates.
Botticelli later began a luxury manuscript illustrated Dante on parchment , most of which was taken only as far as the underdrawings , and only a few pages are fully illuminated.
This manuscript has 93 surviving pages 32 x 47 cm , now divided between the Vatican Library 8 sheets and Berlin 83 , and represents the bulk of Botticelli's surviving drawings.
Once again, the project was never completed, even at the drawing stage, but some of the early cantos appear to have been at least drawn but are now missing.
The pages that survive have always been greatly admired, and much discussed, as the project raises many questions.
Botticelli then appears to have worked on the drawings over a long period, as stylistic development can be seen, and matched to his paintings.
Although other patrons have been proposed inevitably including Medicis, in particular the younger Lorenzo, or il Magnifico , some scholars think that Botticelli made the manuscript for himself.
There are hints that Botticelli may have worked on illustrations for printed pamphlets by Savonarola, almost all destroyed after his fall.
Botticelli became associated by historians with the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici , a movement historians would later characterize as a " golden age ".
Lorenzo il Magnifico became the head of the family in , just around the time Botticelli started his own workshop.
He was a great patron of both the visual and literary arts, and encouraged and financed the humanist and Neoplatonist circle from which much of the character of Botticelli's mythological painting seems to come.
In general Lorenzo does not seem to have commissioned much from Botticelli, preferring Pollaiuolo and others,  although views on this differ.
Although the patrons of many works not for churches remain unclear, Botticelli seems to have been used more by Lorenzo il Magnifico's two young cousins, his younger brother Giuliano ,  and other families allied to the Medici.
Tommaso Soderini, a close ally of Lorenzo, obtained the commission for the figure of Fortitude of which is Botticelli's earliest securely dated painting, completing a series of the Seven Virtues left unfinished by Piero Pollaiuolo.
Possibly they had been introduced by a Vespucci who had tutored Soderini's son. Antonio Pucci, another Medici ally, probably commissioned the London Adoration of the Magi , also around Giuliano de' Medici was assassinated in the Pazzi conspiracy of Lorenzo narrowly escaped, saved by his bank manager , and a portrait said to be Giuliano which survives in several versions may be posthumous, or with at least one version from not long before his death.
According to Vasari, Botticelli became a follower of the deeply moralistic Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola , who preached in Florence from until his execution in .
Botticelli was a follower of Savonarola's, and this was why he gave up painting and then fell into considerable distress as he had no other source of income.
None the less, he remained an obstinate member of the sect, becoming one of the piagnoni , the snivellers, as they were called then, and abandoning his work; so finally, as an old man, he found himself so poor that if Lorenzo de' Medici The extent of Savonarola's influence on Botticelli remains uncertain; his brother Simone was more clearly a follower.
Vasari's assertion that Botticelli produced nothing after coming under the influence of Savonarola is not accepted by modern art historians.
The Mystical Nativity , Botticelli's only painting to carry an actual date, if one cryptically expressed, comes from late ,  eighteen months after Savonarola died, and the development of his style can be traced through a number of late works, as discussed below.
In late , some four years after Savonarola's death, Isabella d'Este wanted a painting done in Florence. Her agent Francesco Malatesta wrote to inform her that her first choice, Perugino, was away, Filippino Lippi had a full schedule for six months, but Botticelli was free to start at once, and ready to oblige.
She preferred to wait for Perugino's return. Many datings of works have a range up to , though he did live a further five years. This may be partly because of the time he devoted to the drawings for the manuscript Dante.
Botticelli returned to subjects from antiquity in the s, with a few smaller works on subjects from ancient history containing more figures and showing different scenes from each story, including moments of dramatic action.
These are the Calumny of Apelles c. The Mystical Nativity , a relatively small and very personal painting, perhaps for his own use, appears to be dated to the end of The iconography of the familiar subject of the Nativity is unique, with features including devils hiding in the rock below the scene, and must be highly personal.
Another painting, known as the Mystic Crucifixion now Fogg Art Museum , clearly relates to the state, and fate, of Florence, shown in the background behind Christ on the Cross, beside which an angel whips a marzocco , the heraldic lion that is a symbol of the city.
This can be connected more directly to the convulsions of the expulsion of the Medici, Savonarola's brief supremacy, and the French invasion. Unfortunately it is very damaged, such that it may not be by Botticelli, while it is certainly in his style.
His later work, especially as seen in the four panels with Scenes from the Life of Saint Zenobius , witnessed a diminution of scale, expressively distorted figures, and a non-naturalistic use of colour reminiscent of the work of Fra Angelico nearly a century earlier.
Botticelli has been compared to the Venetian painter Carlo Crivelli , some ten years older, whose later work also veers away from the imminent High Renaissance style, instead choosing to "move into a distinctly Gothic idiom".
Ernst Steinmann d. Botticelli continued to pay his dues to the Compagnia di San Luca a confraternity rather than the artist's guild until at least October ;  the tentative date ranges assigned to his late paintings run no further than this.
By then he was aged sixty or more, in this period definitely into old age. Vasari, who lived in Florence from around , says that Botticelli died "ill and decrepit, at the age of seventy-eight", after a period when he was "unable to stand upright and moving around with the help of crutches".
He was buried with his family outside the Ognissanti Church in a spot the church has now built over.
Vasari mentions that Botticelli produced very fine drawings, which were sought out by artists after his death.
Some may be connected with the work in other media that we know Botticelli did. In the records of the painter's guild record that Botticelli had only Filippino Lippi as an assistant, though another source records a twenty-eight-year old, who had trained with Neri di Bicci.
By there were three, none of them subsequently of note. Other names occur in the record, but only Lippi became a well-known master. Botticelli's linear style was relatively easy to imitate, making different contributions within one work hard to identify,  though the quality of the master's drawing makes works entirely by others mostly identifiable.
The attribution of many works remains debated, especially in terms of distinguishing the share of work between master and workshop.
Lightbown believed that "the division between Botticelli's autograph works and the paintings from his workshop and circle is a fairly sharp one", and that in only one major work on panel "do we find important parts executed by assistants";  but others might disagree.
The National Gallery have an Adoration of the Kings of about , which they describe as begun by Filippino Lippi but finished by Botticelli, noting how unusual it was for a master to take over a work begun by a pupil.
According to Vasari's perhaps unreliable account, Botticelli "earned a great deal of money, but wasted it all through carelessness and lack of management".
On his father's death in it was inherited by his brother Giovanni, who had a large family. By the end of his life it was owned by his nephews.
From the s he had a modest country villa and farm at Bellosguardo now swallowed up by the city , which was leased with his brother Simone.
Botticelli never married, and apparently expressed a strong dislike of the idea of marriage. An anecdote records that his patron Tommaso Soderini, who died in , suggested he marry, to which Botticelli replied that a few days before he had dreamed that he had married, woke up "struck with grief", and for the rest of the night walked the streets to avoid the dream resuming if he slept again.
The story concludes cryptically that Soderini understood "that he was not fit ground for planting vines". There has been over a century of speculation that Botticelli himself may actually have been homosexual.
Many writers observed homo-eroticism in his portraits. The American art historian Bernard Berenson , for example, detected what he believed to be latent homosexuality.
No prosecution was brought. The painter would then have been about fifty-eight. Mesnil dismissed it as a customary slander by which partisans and adversaries of Savonarola abused each other.
Opinion remains divided on whether this is evidence of bisexuality or homosexuality. The Renaissance art historian, James Saslow, has noted that: "His [Botticelli's] homo-erotic sensibility surfaces mainly in religious works where he imbued such nude young saints as Sebastian with the same androgynous grace and implicit physicality as Donatello's David".
He does seem to have had a close relationship with Simonetta Vespucci , who is portrayed in several of his works and seems to have served as the inspiration for many of the female figures in the artist's paintings.
It took Botticelli nine more years to finish his masterpiece The Birth of Venus, in Meanwhile, all the women in Botticelli's works retained Simonetta's features, as seen in the many posthumous portraits he painted of her.
It is not risky to believe that he lived platonically in love with Simonetta, and it can be reaffirmed by the request he made to have himself buried at the foot of the lady's tomb in the Church of Ognissanti - the church of the Vespucci - in Florence.
Indeed, when he died in , his remains were placed as he requested. After his death, Botticelli's reputation was eclipsed longer and more thoroughly than that of any other major European artist.
There are a few mentions of paintings and their location in sources from the decades after his death. Vasari's Life is relatively short and, especially in the first edition of , rather disapproving.
According to the Ettlingers "he is clearly ill at ease with Sandro and did not know how to fit him into his evolutionary scheme of the history of art running from Cimabue to Michelangelo".
Vasari saw Botticelli as a firm partisan of the anti-Medici faction influenced by Savonarola, while Vasari himself relied heavily on the patronage of the returned Medicis of his own day.
Vasari also saw him as an artist who had abandoned his talent in his last years, which offended his high idea of the artistic vocation.
He devotes a good part of his text to rather alarming anecdotes of practical jokes by Botticelli. In a picture-buying agent of Ferdinando Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua bought him a painting said to be a Botticelli out of historical interest "as from the hand of an artist by whom Your Highness has nothing, and who was the master of Leonardo da Vinci ".
The Birth of Venus was displayed in the Uffizi from , but is little mentioned in travellers' accounts of the gallery over the next two decades.
The Berlin gallery bought the Bardi Altarpiece in , but the National Gallery, London only bought a Madonna now regarded as by his workshop in But when he tried to sell it in , no buyer could be found.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood incorporated elements of his work into their own. Walter Pater created a literary picture of Botticelli, who was then taken up by the Aesthetic movement.
The first monograph on the artist was published in , the same year as Aby Warburg 's seminal dissertation on the mythologies; then, between and more books were written on Botticelli than on any other painter.
Botticelli appears as a character, sometimes a main one, in numerous fictional depictions of 15th-century Florence in various media.
The main belt asteroid Botticelli discovered on 9 February , is named after him. Annunciation , c. Mystic Crucifixion , Fogg Art Museum.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the Italian Renaissance painter. For other uses, see Botticelli disambiguation. Probable self-portrait of Botticelli, in his Adoration of the Magi Florence , Republic of Florence now Italy.
Portrait of a young man holding a medallion c. Dante Alighieri , c.