Sandro Botticelli was one of the greatest painters of the Renaissance. Today, his works are as recognizable as those of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, who were both friends of the artist. An exhibition of paintings from every period of his career is on display at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William and Mary through April 5. Only two venues will be showing the exhibition in the U.S. and it’s being touted as the largest and most important Botticelli exhibit that has ever been organized in this country.
In this segment, Peter Solomon speaks with the museum’s chief curator and assistant director, John Spike. Aside from details about Botticelli, the conversation touches on Lorenzo The Maginificent, the de facto ruler of Florence and the patriarch of the famously wealthy Medici family; and Giralomo Savonarola, a Dominican preacher and firebrand who ruled over Florence in the late 1490s and was responsible for the notoriously destructive Bonfires of the Vanities in which a great deal of Renaissance art was destroyed.
Also there is some discussion of Botticelli’s late period in which he rejected Renaissance values and innovations.
Finally there’s discussion about the most unusual aspect of the exhibition, i.e. the fact that there are several of his later works shown together for the first time.
You can find more information on “Botticelli and the Search for the Divine: Florentine Painting Between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities” at this website.