The Easel

From Medicis to Mythologies: How Sandro Botticelli Became One of History’s Most Influential Artists

Coinciding with a Botticelli portrait coming to auction is this somewhat textbook-ish essay. The Medici’s patronage allowed Botticelli to tackle the more ambitious pictures that now underpin his reputation. Often these blended mythology, Christian parable and deft gestures to Florentine politics. Those politics were nothing if not volatile and, once the Medicis lost power, Botticelli reverted to stern medieval painting conventions.