These are the 12 most famous paintings by Sandro Botticelli. Sandro Botticelli (1444–1510) was an important Renaissance Italian painter in Florence. Inspired by the growth of Greek and Roman principles, he was one of the first western artists to depict non-religious subjects. This was a defining moment in Western art when it became clear that art could be appreciated rather than used only for religious purposes.
The Birth of Venus (1486)
The Birth of Venus is one of the most famous paintings by Sandro Botticelli. It is a painting of the Goddess Venus as a fully grown woman emerging from the water and arriving at the shore, standing on a large seashell. Venus is recognized as a sign of love and beauty. “The Birth of Venus” is an imagined scene, a myth, and not a true story. This is one of the most well-known paintings on canvas.
Venus and Mars (1483)
This is a painting of the Roman goddess Venus and the god Mars in a passionate state. Mars is asleep and tired from his affair with Venus. On the other hand, Venus is awake and attentive, apparently enjoying her victory. This conveys the concept that love triumphs over war. This masterpiece was created to celebrate a wedding, which was based on the subject matter and the unusually large size.
Portrait of a Young Man (1480)
This is a portrait of a young man with a pleasant, dreamy face and huge expressive brown eyes who is calmly seated and looking straight at the viewers. The portrait tries to convey the young man’s internal world, his experiences, and his concerns. In XV century Italian paintings, painting a man in full-face was unusual.
The Annunciation (1485–1492)
One of the most famous paintings by Sandro Botticelli is a picture of a row of pillars separating the Angel Gabriel’s space from the Virgin Mary’s intimate bed-chamber, where she kneels in humility while she accepts his holy word. This painting’s use of linear perspective in the background was a comparatively new concept in the art world. It was just one of many innovations created during the Early Renaissance.
The Return of Judith to Bethulia (1474)
This is one of the small fresco paintings depicting Judith, a widow, and her maid, Abra, walking away in an angry manner. The biblical story of Judith is a story of feminine courage and bravery that inspired many Renaissance women. This painting achieves a remarkable balance of movement and calmness.
Madonna of the Book (1480)
This painting depicts the Virgin and child reading a book in a household environment. Some words visible in the painting, it is assumed to be from the Book of Hours, the Home Beatae Mariae. “Madonna of the Book” is also known as “Madonna del Libro.” This is one of Botticelli’s greatest depictions of the Virgin Mary and child.
Adoration of the Magi (1475)
This is a painting of a scene where three Magi, or kings, deliver presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to place before baby Jesus. The painting is famous for its meticulous attention to detail. The figures all have unique positions, expressions, and personalities, giving the painting a wide range of colors and imagery.
Madonna and Child (1467)
This is a painting of Madonna wearing a typical red gown and a blue cloak with a child on her lap. With her long pale neck and elegantly arched eyebrows, she exudes majesty. Strong, flowing lines combined with the strength of form created the solid figures that stood out against the background. This painting influenced the Pre-Raphaelite movement.
The Story of Virginia (1504)
This is a painting of Virginia being violated and assaulted by Marcus Claudius in the presence of several ladies, in order to force her to yield to Appius Claudius Crassus. The central themes of the painting are betrayed honor and married commitment. This is one of Botticelli’s final works demonstrating morality.
The Last Communion of Saint Jerome (1495)
This is a painting of the brilliant fourth-century scholar and Latin Bible translator, who was receiving Last Communion in his cell near Bethlehem, surrounded by his colleagues. The painting was produced for the Florentine wool trader Francesco del Pugliese. This is one of Botticelli’s smaller paintings.
Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci (1480-1490)
This is a painting of Simonetta Vespucci in profile, facing left, at half-length. Her breasts are bared, and a small snake wraps itself around her necklace. The painting became famous after she was admired by the entire city of Florence for her beauty, which ultimately became a legend following her tragic death. This painting demonstrates an early Renaissance-specific technique.
This is a painting of 9 mythological characters advancing through a flowery meadow in a grove of orange and laurel trees. “Primavera” is also known as “Spring Allegory.” This painting has been described as “one of the most written about and most controversial paintings in the world” and “one of the most famous paintings in Western art.” which is why it is the final picture in our list of the most famous paintings by Sandro Botticelli.
What famous paintings by Sandro Botticelli do you think we should add to this list? Comment below.