Botticelli: Master of Renaissance Florence

This course will delve into the groundbreaking career of Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), a central figure in Italian Renaissance art and a renowned painter celebrated for his iconic linear style. It will explore his world-famous paintings, such as the Primavera and The Birth of Venus, while also shedding light on his many portraits, lesser-known devotional panels, and the works he created for jousts and ephemeral events. The course will aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of Botticelli's artistic journey within the vibrant context of 15th-century Florence—a dynamic European hub that, under Lorenzo the Magnificent’s rule (1469-92), played a significant role in international politics. We will examine the evidence surrounding Botticelli's relationship with the influential Medici family, his involvement in religious life, and his unique education, which led him to illustrate the entirety of Dante's Divine Comedy.This course will coincide with the "Botticelli Drawings" exhibition at San Francisco's Legion of Honor, taking place from November 19, 2023, to February 11, 2024. This remarkable exhibition will bring together Botticelli's scattered sketches from museums and collections worldwide, offering a unique opportunity to witness their collective brilliance. By aligning with this exhibition, the course will provide a distinct chance to develop a deeper appreciation for Botticelli's mastery of pictorial art, the historical forces that shaped his creative vision, and the artistic legacy that continues to resonate to this day.

Emanuele Lugli
Assistant Professor of Art History, Stanford


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Online, instructor-led
Jan 17 - Mar 13, 2024
Stanford Continuing Studies