‘Fu Sandro persona molto piacevole’ (Sandro was a very nice person) is a series of lectures organized by the Italian Cultural Institute of Haifa, curated by Irina Chernetsky, professor of History of Art at the University of Haifa and at Bar-Ilan University. These were the words used by Giorgio Vasari to describe Botticelli in his famous book, ‘Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects’.
The programme of the series is as follows:
8 November | Venere, la dea dell’amore, nell’arte di Sandro Botticelli (Venus, the goddess of love, in the work of Sandro Botticelli)
The artistic style of Sandro Botticelli (c. 1445-1510) is a prominent feature in the landscape of late 15th-century Florentine art and is immediately recognizable. He was closely linked to important Florentine families such as the Medici and the Vespucci. He illustrated Dante’s Divine Comedy, produced famous paintings of mythical subjects, including the Birth of Venus and Spring, and, under the influence of Savonarola, created some of the most expressive religious paintings of his time.
22 November | Sandro Botticelli: l’artista dei dotti mecenati fiorentini (Sandro Botticelli: the artist of the learned Florentine patrons)
Usually, the term Renaissance refers to the ‘rediscovery’ of Greek and Roman culture. This lecture will discuss three paintings by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1445 – 1510) depicting Venus, the classical goddess of love and beauty: Mars and Venus, The Birth of Venus and Primavera. We will examine these paintings within the unique cultural and artistic context of Florence in the second half of the 15th century. We will discuss Botticelli’s rich textual and visual sources, ask who his patrons were, and also consider the historical and political context in which these paintings were created.
6 December | Religious themes in the art of Sandro Botticelli
This lecture will examine Botticelli’s religious paintings. We will begin with the Adoration of the Magi, which features many contemporary Florentine figures: the patron, members of the Medici family and the artist himself. Botticelli, on the one hand, continued the Florentine visual tradition, but on the other hand introduced considerable changes, which were to influence Leonardo. We will also talk about the famous San Barnaba Altarpiece and Botticelli’s later expressive works influenced by Savonarola.
For more information, go to iichaifa.esteri.it