Hall 10/14 – Botticelli

This large room is one of the most famous of the Uffizi, being displayed some of the greatest works by Sandro Botticelli.

Among the many paintings, two have entered the collective visual imagination as the essence of the Renaissance: The Birth of Venus (c. 1484) and The Spring (c. 1482). These masterpieces are permeated by mysterious associations not completely deciphered yet.

Botticelli moved in the Neo-Platonic Academy where Lorenzo de’ Medici, called the Magnificient, had brought together the intellectual elite of the late XV century Florence. The Greek philosopher Plato came back to the fore during the Renaissance, thanks to the numerous translations of ancient books. Neoplatonism tried to blend Plato’s philosophy with Christianity. According to this new way of conceiving reality, man is free to choose God and matter and spiritual uplifting can only be achieved through love, harmony and ideal beauty.

During these years, Botticelli “translated” the ideals of the Neoplatonic circle, with his distinctive refined and elegant style, in his paintings.

Below is a beautiful and original composition by Thomas Schoenberger and vocal rendition by Marnie Breckenridge dedicated to Botticelli’s Annunciation, which you will also be able to admire in this large room.

In the room, however, there’s another masterpiece worth admiring: the stunning Portinari Triptych by Flemish artist Hugo van der Goes. The painting was brought to Florence in 1483 and influenced generations of Florentine artists, including Botticelli. Flemish masters used to paint in oil, a special technique that allowed a more visible effect of softness and realism and an incredible precision in defining the details of the work.

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