Visual History of the World

(CONTENTS)
 

 


HISTORY OF CIVILIZATION & CULTURE

From Prehistoric to Romanesque  Art
Gothic Art
Renaissance  Art
Baroque and Rococo Art
The Art of Asia
Neoclassicism, Romanticism  Art
Art Styles in 19th century
Art of the 20th century
Artists that Changed the World
Design and Posters
Photography
Classical Music
Literature and Philosophy

Visual History of the World
Prehistory
First Empires
The Ancient World
The Middle Ages
The Early Modern Period
The Modern Era
The World Wars and Interwar Period
The Contemporary World

Dictionary of Art and Artists

 




The Early Modern Period

16th - 18th century


 


The smooth transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age is conventionally fixed on such events as the Reformation and the discovery of the "New World," which brought about the emergence of a new image of man and his world. Humanism, which spread out of Italy, also made an essential contribution to this with its promotion of a critical awareness of Christianity and the Church. The Reformation eventually broke the all-embracing power of the Church. After the Thirty Years' War, the concept of a universal empire was also nullified. The era of the nation-state began, bringing with it the desire to build up political and economic power far beyond Europe. The Americas, Africa, and Asia provided regions of expansion for the Europeans.
 



Proportions of the Human Figure by Leonardo da Vinci (drawing, ca. 1490)
is a prime example of the new approach of Renaissance
artists and scientists to the anatomy of the human body.

 

 

 

see also:

RENAISSANCE ART

BAROQUE AND ROCOCO ART

THE 17-18th CENTURY LITERATURE

RENAISSANCE PHILOSOPHY

MODERN PHILOSOPHY

CLASSICAL MUSIC-The Middle Ages and the Renaissance, The Baroque Era

 

 



Renaissance Women

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 





 

   


Isabella d'Aragona, Duchessa di Milano e di Bari

Isabella di Aragona (October 2, 1470 – February 11, 1524)

was born a princess of Naples, granddaughter of King Ferdinand I of Naples and daughter of King Alphonse II of Naples by his wife, Ippolita Maria Sforza. From 1489 to 1494 she was the Duchess Consort of Milan, and from 1499 to 1524 the Duchess of Bari and Princess of Rossano. After her brother Ferdinand II's death, she was the heir of the Brienne claim to the title King of Jerusalem.

She married her first cousin Gian Galeazzo II. Maria Sforza, who at the time was the Duke of Milan. However, his uncle Ludovico Sforza was the de facto ruler.

In the 1970s Robert Payne was the first to suggest that Isabella was the subject of the Mona Lisa, the portrait by Leonardo da Vinci whose subject was traditionally thought to be Lisa Gherardini or Lisa del Giocondo. In 2003 historian Maike Vogt-Lüerssen concurred with Payne and argued that the subject was a member of the House of Sforza because of the pattern on the subject's dark green dress. The 2005 discovery of a note by Agostino Vespucci is commonly used to diminish this theory. However, since Vespucci does not provide any description of the painting, it could refer to any of Leonardo's female portrait paintings of that time.

 

   


Ginevra de' Benci by
Leonardo da Vinci

Ginevra de' Benci (Born 1457)

was a lady of the aristocratic class in 15th century Florence, admired for her intelligence by Florentine contemporaries. She is the subject of one of only about 17 existing paintings attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. The oil-on-wood portrait was permanently acquired by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., USA, in 1967 for US$5 million paid to the Princely House of Liechtenstein, a record price at the time. This portrait is currently the only painting by Leonardo in the Americas.

It is known from three written sources that Leonardo painted a portrait of Ginevra de' Benci in 1474 in commemoration of her marriage to Luigi Niccolini. The painting's imagery and the text on the reverse of the panel support this the identification of this picture. Directly behind the young lady in the portrait is a juniper tree. The reverse of the portrait is decorated with a juniper sprig encircled by a wreath of laurel and palm and is memorialized by the phrase VIRTUTEM FORMA DECORAT ("Beauty adorns Virtue"). The Italian word for juniper is "ginepro", which suggests that the juniper motif has been used here be a symbolic pun on Ginevra's name. Fittingly, juniper was also a Renaissance symbol for chastity.


The portrait is one of the highlights of the National Gallery of Art, and is admired by many for its portrayal of Ginevra's temperament. Ginevra is beautiful but austere; she has no hint of a smile and her gaze, though forward, seems indifferent to the viewer. A strip from the bottom of the painting was removed in the past, presumably due to damage, and Ginevra's arms and hands were lost.

According to Giorgio Vasari, Ginevra de' Benci was also included in the fresco by Domenico Ghirlandaio of the Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth in the church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence.

 

   


Vanozza de’ Cattanei
 

Vannozza dei Cattanei (Giovanna de Candia, contessa dei Cattanei) (13 July 1442 – 24 November 1518)

was one of the many mistresses of the Pope Alexander VI (in violation of the celibacy vows the Pope takes), and among them, the one whose relationship lasted the longest. Her parents were Jacopo (Giacommo de Candia, conte dei Cattanei) and Mencia Pinctoris.

Born in 1442 to Mantuan parents, she moved to Rome where she ran several inns (Osterie), at first in Borgo, then in Campo de' Fiori. Before becoming Alexander's mistress, she had an alleged relationship with Cardinal Giulio della Rovere, the future Pope Julius II.
The connection with Alexander VI began in 1470, and she bore him four children whom he openly acknowledged as his own:

Giovanni, afterwards duke of Gandia (born 1474);
Cesare (born 1475);
Lucrezia (born 1480);
Gioffre (born 1481 or 1482)
Before his elevation to the papacy, Alexander VI's passion for Vannozza somewhat diminished, and she subsequently led a very retired life.

Her place in his affections was filled by the beautiful Giulia Farnese, wife of an Orsini, but Alexander VI's love for his children by Vannozza remained as strong as ever and proved, indeed, the determining factor of his whole career. He lavished vast sums on them and lauded them with every honour.

She had four husbands. First she married Domenico d'Arignano. Her second husband was Antonio de Brescia. In 1480 she married Giorgio della Croce. She had a son named Ottaviano with him. When she bacame a widow she finally married Carlo Canale.

 

   


The salacious version painted by Bartolomeo Veneto,
though it's not certain it is actually Lucrezia (in fact it's just about certain that it isn't).
 


Pinturicchio's image of Lucrezia (just maybe) as Santa Catterina d'Alessandria disputing with the philosophers before Emperor Maximian, in the Sala dei Santi in the Borgia apartments of the Vatican.



Pinturicchio's image of Lucrezia (just maybe) as Santa Catterina d'Alessandria disputing with the philosophers before Emperor Maximian, in the Sala dei Santi in the Borgia apartments of the Vatican.



Supposed portrait of Lucrezia Borgia
assumed to be by Dosso Dossi



Picture of Lucrezia Borgia by Nirvaan Ghosh

Lucrezia Borgia

Marriages

First marriage: Giovanni Sforza
Lucrezia Borgia was born at Subiaco, near Rome. By the time she was thirteen, she had been betrothed twice, but her father called off both engagements.

After Rodrigo became Pope Alexander VI, he had Lucrezia marry Giovanni Sforza to establish an alliance with that powerful Milanese family. The wedding was a scandalous event but was not much more extravagant than many other Renaissance celebrations.

Before long, the Borgia family no longer needed the Sforzas, and the presence of Giovanni Sforza in the papal court was superfluous. The Pope needed new, more advantageous political alliances, so he may have covertly ordered the execution of Giovanni. The generally accepted version is that Lucrezia was informed of this by her brother Cesare, and she warned her husband, who fled Rome.

Possibly Pope Alexander never made such an order, and it was a plot on the part of Cesare and Lucrezia to drive her boring husband away. Regardless, Alexander and Cesare were pleased with the chance to arrange another advantageous marriage for Lucrezia. But before that could occur, they needed to get rid of Giovanni Sforza.

Alexander asked Giovanni's uncle, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, to persuade Giovanni to agree to a divorce. Giovanni refused and accused Lucrezia of paternal and fraternal incest. Since the marriage had supposedly not been consummated, the Pope said that the marriage was invalid, and offered Giovanni Lucrezia's dowry to agree. The Sforza family threatened to withdraw their protection of Giovanni if he refused Alexander's offer. Having no choice, Giovanni Sforza signed confessions of impotence and documents of annulment before witnesses.

Affair with Perotto
There has been speculation that during the prolonged process of the annulment, Lucrezia consummated a relationship with someone, probably Alexander's messenger Perotto. The result was that she was actually pregnant when her marriage was annulled for non consummation, and this is one of the facts her detractors have cited to support their derogatory view of her character. The child, named Giovanni but known to historians as the Roman Infante, was born in secret (1498) before Lucrezia's marriage to Alfonso of Aragon.

Some believe the child was her brother Cesare's, but that Perotto, due to his fondness for Lucrezia, claimed that it was his. During her pregnancy, she stayed away from Rome at a convent, so no one would know, and Perotto would bring her messages from her father in Rome. According to this theory, Lucrezia was worried that if news of her pregnancy reached the citizens of Rome, they would surely know it was Cesare's child. Cesare, at the time, was a Cardinal of the Holy Church; if he had been sharing an illicit sexual relationship with his sister during her marriage to Giovanni, it would have to be concealed from everyone, especially their father (the Pope).

In 1501, two papal bulls were issued concerning the child, Giovanni Borgia. In the first, he was recognized as Cesare's child from an affair before his marriage. The second, contradictory, bull recognized him as the son of Alexander VI. Lucrezia's name is not mentioned in either, and rumours that she was his mother have never been proven. The second bull was kept secret for many years, and Giovanni was assumed to be Cesare's son. This is supported by the fact that in 1502, he became Duke of Camerino, one of Cesare's recent conquests, hence the natural inheritance of the Duke of Romagna's oldest son. However, some time after Alexander's death, Giovanni went to stay with Lucrezia in Ferrara, where he was accepted as her half-brother.


Second marriage: Alfonso of Aragon (Duke of Bisceglie)
At his first meeting with Alfonso, before the marriage took place, Cesare was very impressed by his good looks and nature. This soon changed to jealousy and hatred. It was said that Cesare did not like Alfonso because Lucrezia was very happy with him and had, since her marriage to him, stopped giving Cesare as much attention. Also, Cesare himself had a bout of syphilis and many scars remained on his face, even after recovery. This made him very conscious of his appearance, and so he started wearing masks and dressing in black. His condition is said to have made him hate Alfonso of Aragon all the more, and once when the Prince was visiting them in Rome, Cesare's men had attacked him during the night. To retaliate, Alfonso's men shot arrows at Cesare one day while he strolled in the garden. This infuriated Cesare, and he had his servant(s) strangle Alfonso while in the recovery room. Lucrezia and Alfonso had only one child, Rodrigo, who predeceased his mother in August 1512 at the age of thirteen.

While the reason for Alfonso's murder could have been jealousy, it did have a political background. Just like Lucrezia's first marriage, the second one soon became a useless alliance and a reason for embarrassment for the Pope and his son. Cesare had just allied himself with the King Louis XII of France, who claimed the duchy of Naples, which was in the hands of Alfonso's family at the time. Whatever the reasons for his murder, Lucrezia was genuinely fond of her husband and broken–hearted upon his death.

Third marriage: Alfonso d'Este (Duke of Ferrara)
After the death of her second husband, Lucrezia's father, Pope Alexander VI, wanted to arrange a third marriage. She then married Alfonso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara. She gave her third husband a number of children and proved to be a respectable and accomplished Renaissance duchess, effectively rising above her questionable past and surviving the fall of the Borgias following her father's death.

Neither partner was faithful: Lucrezia enjoyed a long relationship with her bisexual brother-in-law, Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua as well as a love affair with the poet Pietro Bembo. Francesco's wife was the cultured intellectual Isabella d'Este, the sister of Alfonso, to whom Lucrezia had made overtures of friendship to no avail. The affair between Francesco and Lucrezia was passionate, more sexual than sentimental as can be attested in the fevered love letters the pair wrote one another. The affair ended when Francesco contracted syphilis and had to perforce end sexual relations with Lucrezia.

Lucrezia Borgia died in Ferrara on 24 June 1519 from complications after giving birth to her eighth child. She was buried in the convent of Corpus Domini.

 

   


Lady with unicorn (Giulia Farnese), by
Raphael  



Copy of destroyed fresco of Pinturicchio "pope
Alexander VI before Madonna (his favorite
Giulia Farnese)" decribed by Vasari.
Made by Pietro Facettio



The Lady and the Unicorn
(Giulia Farnese), by Luca Longhi

Giulia Farnese

Giulia Farnese (1474 - 23 March 1524) was one of the mistresses of the Pope Alexander VI. She was known as Giulia la bella, in Italian meaning "Julia the Beautiful". Lorenzo Pucci described her as "most lovely to behold". Cesare Borgia, the son of Alexander VI, described her as having "dark colouring, black eyes, round face and particular ardour".

Family
Giulia Farnese was born at Canino, Latium, Italy, to Pier Luigi Farnese, Signore di Montalto (1435-1487), and wife Giovanna Caetani. One earlier member of this dynasty had been Pope Boniface VIII (1294–1303). She had four siblings. The first brother Alessandro was a notary but was embarked on an ecclesiastical career. Her second brother Bartolomeo Farnese, became Lord of Montalto in his place, married Iolanda Monaldeschi and had issue. The fourth child Angelo was a lord, married Lella Orsini and had female issue. The fifth was a sister, Girolama.

Marriage and relationships with Alexander VI
At the age of 15, on May 21, 1489, she married in Rome Orsino Orsini. He was the stepson of the ambitious Adriana de Mila, who was third cousin to Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, Vice-Chancellor of the Church (and later Pope Alexander VI). Orsini was described as being squint eyed and was devoid of any meaningful self confidence. According to Maria Bellonci, it is uncertain when Alexander fell passionately in love with Giulia and decided to make her his mistress. What is known is that Adriana de Mila, Borgia's cousin, eventually gave her approval in order to win a higher status for her son with the Vatican. By November 1493 Giulia was living with Adriana de Mila and the Cardinal’s daughter Lucrezia Borgia in a recently built palace next to the Vatican from where the Pope could easily make his clandestine visits. The affair was widely known among the gossips of the time, and Giulia was referred to as "the Pope's whore" or as "the bride of Christ". Giulia and Lucrezia became close friends.

Through her intimacy with the Pope she was able to get her brother Alessandro created Cardinal. This earned him the title of "Cardinal of the skirts" from Pasquino.

Giulia had a daughter whom she named Laura. It is not clear whether Laura’s father was Orsino or Alexander. Maria Bellonci believes that there is evidence that she did have a physical relationship with her husband. Whatever the case may be, Giulia claimed that Laura was indeed the Pope’s daughter, but this may have been to raise the status of the child for future marriage considerations. In 1494 she angered the Pope by setting off to Capodimonte to be at the deathbed of her brother Angelo. She remained away from Rome, even after her brother’s death, at the insistence of her husband. He eventually capitulated to papal pressure however, and she soon set off on the journey back to her lover. This was the same time as the French invasion of Italy under Charles VIII. Giulia was captured by the French captain Yves d’Allegre, who demanded from the Pope, and received, a ransom of 3,000 scudi for her safe conduct to Rome.

She remained the Pope’s mistress until 1499 or 1500. At this time she seems to have fallen out of his favour due to her age. Bellonci believes that the break between the two was probably made amicably with the help of Adriana de Mila. Her husband also died around this time. She then moved to Carbognano, which is not too far from Rome. This town had been given to Orsino by Alexander VI. Alexander himself died three years later.

Later life
Giulia returned to Rome for the wedding of her daughter Laura in 1505. Laura was wedded to Niccolò della Rovere, who was the son of the sister of then Pope Julius II. For Giulia, her time of love was not over. After a series of lovers, whose names have not been recorded, in the first years of her widowhood, she married Giovanni Capece of Bozzuto. He was a member of the lower ranking Neapolitan nobility. In 1506 Giulia became the governor of Carbognano. Giulia took up residence in the citadel of the castle, on the gate of which, years later, her name was inscribed. The chronicle of the castle states that Giulia was an able administrator who governed in a firm and energetic manner. Giulia stayed in Carbognano until 1522. Then she left the place and returned to Rome.

She died there, in the house of her brother, Cardinal Alessandro. She was 50 years old. The cause of her death is unknown. Ten years later her brother ascended the papal throne as Pope Paul III. Laura and Niccolò had three sons, who inherited the possessions of the Orsini family.

 


Virgin and Unicorn (Giulia Farnese), Fresco, by Domenichino

 

   


A portrait by Domenico Veneziano identified as that of
Lucrezia Landriani

Lucrezia Landriani (born c.1440),

was the mistress of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, and the mother of his renowned illegitimate daughter, Caterina Sforza, Lady of Imola, Countess of Forlì.Lucrezia had three other children by the Duke, and two by her husband.

Lucrezia was the wife of Count Gian Piero Landriani, a courtier at the ducal court and a close friend of Galeazzo Maria Sforza (24 January 1444- 26 December 1476), son of Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan and Bianca Maria Visconti, Duchess of Milan. Galeazzo Maria would become Duke of Milan upon the death of his father on 8 March 1466.

Lucrezia was born in Milan around 1440; nothing further, however, is known of her early years, or her parentage. A contemporary portrait of Lucrezia painted by Domenico Veneziano, shows her to have been quite beautiful, with blonde hair, blue eyes, a high forehead, and fine features. She bore her husband Gian Piero two children, a son Piero Landriani, who later became castellan of the fortress of Forlimpopoli; and a daughter, Bianca Landriani, who married Tommaso Feo, castellan of Ravaldino Castle and the brother-in-law of Caterina Sforza. Lucrezia became Galeazzo Maria's mistress sometime around 1460, when he was sixteen years of age.

She bore Galeazzo Maria at least four children:

Carlo Sforza, Count of Magenta (1461- 9 May 1483), married Bianca Simonetta (died 1487), by whom he had two daughters, Angela Sforza (1479- 1497), and Ippolita Sforza (1481- 1520).The latter married Alessandro Bentivoglio by whom she had issue, including a daughter Violante, who became the wife of condottiero Giovanni Paolo I Sforza, an illegitimate son of Ludovico il Moro Sforza by Lucrezia Crivelli.
 
Caterina Sforza, Lady of Imola, Countess of Forli (early 1463- 28 May 1509), married three times.

Chiara Sforza (1467- 1531), married firstly, Pietro, Count dal Verme di Sanguinetto, Lord of Vigevano , and secondly, Fregosino Fregoso, Lord of Novi, by whom she had issue.
Alessandro Sforza, Lord of Francavilla (1465-1523), married Barbara dei Conti Balbiani di Valchiavenna, by whom he had a daughter, Camilla.
Lucrezia's children were legitimised and raised at the ducal court, alongside Galeazzo's legitimate children by his second wife Bona of Savoy. They were, however, entrusted into the care of their paternal grandmother, Bianca Maria Visconti. The most gifted, and remarkable child of Galeazzo and Lucrezia was Caterina, who was instructed in the arts of diplomacy and warfare by her grandmother. These were necessary skills in the political ambience of 15th century Italy, which was marked by intrigue, treachery, assassinations, and continuous strife, caused by the intense rivalry of the city-states and their rulers.

On 26 December 1476, Galeazzo Maria Sforza was stabbed to death inside the church of San Stefano in Milan. His only legitimate son by Bona of Savoy, Gian Galeazzo Sforza, succeeded him as Duke of Milan.

Lucrezia Landriani died on an unknown date.

 

   


La dama dei gelsomini by Lorenzo di Credi.
Portrait of Caterina Sforza

Caterina Sforza

Caterina Sforza, Countess of Forlì (early 1463 – 28 May, 1509), was the illegitimate daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan and Lucrezia Landriani, the wife of the courtier Gian Piero Landriani, a close friend of the Duke.

Raised in the refined Milanese court, which in the 15th century was admired by all of Europe, Caterina later held the titles of Lady of Imola and Countess of Forlì, by her marriage to Girolamo Riario. She was also the Regent for her first-born son, Octaviano.

The descendant of a dynasty of famous condottieri, Caterina, at an early age, distinguished herself by her bold and impetuous actions that were instigated to safeguard her possessions from possible usurpers, and to uphold the military defense of her states, when they were involved in the myriad political intrigues that were a distinguishing feature of 15th century Italy.

In her private life Caterina was devoted to various activities, among which were "experiments" in alchemy and a love of hunting and dancing.

She was a devoted mother as well as a dedicated teacher to her many children, from whom only the youngest, the famous captain Giovanni dalle Bande Nere, inherited the forceful, militant character of his mother.

Following a heroic resistance on her part, she had to face the vindictive fury of Cesare Borgia, who took Caterina as his prisoner. Upon regaining her liberty following her imprisonment in Rome, she led a quiet life in Florence.

In the final years of her life, she confided to a monk: "If I were to write the story of my life, I would shock the world".

 

   


La belle ferronnière, painted by by Leonardo da Vinci  

Lucrezia Crivelli was a mistress of Ludovico Sforza, il Moro, Duke of Milan (27 July 1452- 27 May 1508).

Lucrezia was thought to be the model Leonardo da Vinci used for La belle ferronnière, which is now in the Louvre, in Paris. She was the mother of Ludovico's son Giovanni Paolo I Sforza, Marquess of Caravaggio.

Duke's mistress
Lucrezia was a lady-in-waiting to Ludovico Sforza's wife before she became his mistress sometime before 1496. In 1497, a son was born to her, Giovanni Paolo. Ludovico's affair with Lucrezia caused much distress to Ludovico's wife, the accomplished and cultured Beatrice d'Este (29 June 1475- 2 January 1497), who tried without success to have Lucrezia banished from court. Leonardo da Vinci's painting La belle ferronnière, which is displayed in the Louvre, is presumed to be a portrait of Lucrezia. Leonardo had previously immortalised an earlier mistress of Ludovico's, Cecilia Gallerani, in his painting, Lady with an Ermine.

Her son by Ludovico, Giovanni Paolo I Sforza (March 1497- December 1535), became the first Marquess of Caravaggio as well as a celebtated condottiero. He married Violante Bentivoglio (1505-1550), a granddaughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, by his mistress Lucrezia Landriani. The marriage produced a son and a daughter. Ludovico Sforza died in 1508. Lucrezia lived for many years under the protection of Isabella d'Este, in Rocca di Canneto in Mantua. Isabella was the elder sister of Beatrice, who had died in January 1497.

 

   


Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci by Piero di Cosimo (c.1480)




A posthumous portrait (c. 1476-80) of Simonetta Vespucci
by Sandro Botticelli



A portrait (c. 1474) of Simonetta Vespucci
by Sandro Botticelli
 

Simonetta Cattaneo de Vespucci (nicknamed la bella Simonetta; ca. 1453 – 1476)

was the wife of the Italian nobleman Marco Vespucci of Florence. She also is alleged to have been the mistress of Giuliano de' Medici, Lorenzo the Magnificent's younger brother. She was renowned for being the greatest beauty of her age - certainly of the city of Florence - and she is believed to have been the model for Venus in Botticelli's The Birth of Venus as well as the model for several other women in his paintings. She also is depicted in Piero di Cosimo's paintings Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci, in which she is portrayed as Cleopatra with an asp around her neck, and The Death of Procris. Countless poems and canvasses by many other painters were also created in her honor.

She was born Simonetta Cattaneo in 1453 or 1454. Her father was a Genoese nobleman named Gaspare Cattaneo, and her mother was his wife, Cattocchia.
There is some dispute as to her birthplace; some say that she was born at Portovenere, in Liguria, where the goddess Venus was born; the poet Politian wrote that her home was "in that stern Ligurian district up above the seacoast, where angry Neptune beats against the rocks. There, like Venus, she was born among the waves." Others say that she was born at Genoa.
At age fifteen or sixteen she married Marco Vespucci, son of Piero, who was a distant cousin of the famous Florentine explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci.

Through the Vespucci family she was discovered by Botticelli and other prominent painters upon arriving at Florence. Before long every nobleman in the city was besotted with her, even the brothers Lorenzo and Giuliano of the ruling Medici family. Lorenzo was occupied with affairs of state, but his younger brother was free to pursue her.

At La Giostra (a jousting tournament) in 1475, Giuliano entered the lists bearing a banner on which was a picture of Simonetta as a helmeted Pallas Athene painted by Botticelli himself, beneath which was the French inscription La Sans Pareille, “The unparalleled one.”

He won the tournament and the affection of la bella Simonetta, who was nominated “The Queen of Beauty” at that event. It is unknown however if they actually became lovers.

Simonetta Vespucci died just one year later, on the night of April 26-27, 1476, probably from pulmonary tuberculosis. She was only twenty-two at the time of her death. Her husband remarried soon afterwards. The entire city was reported to mourn at her death and thousands followed her coffin to its burial.

Botticelli finished painting "The Birth of Venus" in 1485, nine years later. The women in many of Botticelli's painting closely resemble Simonetta, as seen in the several posthumous portraits that he painted of her.

This suggests that he also had fallen in love with her, a view supported by his request to be buried at her feet in the Church of Ognissanti - the parish church of the Vespucci - in Florence.

He was interred there at his death, in 1510, some 34 years following her death.

 

 


The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli

 


Spring by Sandro Botticelli

 


Madonna of the Pomegranate (Madonna della Melagrana) by Sandro Botticelli

 


Madonna of the Magnificat (Madonna del Magnificat) by Sandro Botticelli

 


Venus and Mars  by Sandro Botticelli

 


The Death of Procris by Piero di Cosimo

 

 

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