Cover image for Sandro Botticelli : life and work
Sandro Botticelli : life and work
Lightbown, R. W.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Abbeville Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
336 pages : illustrations ; 32 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND623.B7 L53 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



When Ronald Lightbown published his monograph on Botticelli in 1978 it was immediately recognized as the definitive work on the subject, one that thoroughly delineated the Renaissance masters life and work and disentangled many of the enigmas associated with his remarkable body of painting. But the subsequent cleaning and restoration of many of Botticellis most famous works, which began in 1978, has necessitated a reassessment of his remarkable technique and dazzling use of color, and has provided a splendid opportunity for Lightbown to revise his landmark study. While this beautiful new edition performs the important task of analyzing recent scholarly advances, it also presents for the first time a full complement of color images for each of Botticellis autograph paintings as well as dozens of spectacular details-over 217 plates, many full page. Specially commissioned photography of the Sistine frescoes and other newly cleaned masterpieces reveal Botticellis vibrant use of color as never before. A selection of his drawings and workshop pictures and paintings by contemporaries such as Fra Filippo Lippi round out this definitive presentation. Every aspect of the Florentine painters art is examined and illustrated in this beautiful and scholarly volume: his devotional work-frescoes, altarpieces, tondi-his portraits, his illustrations to Dantes Divine Comedy, his secular paintings, and his representations of classical myth. The book begins by describing Botticellis family, early life, and apprenticeship to Fra Filippo Lippi. Then follows a discussion of the development of his career, his emergence as an independent master, and his stay in Rome to help fresco the newly completed Sistine Chapel. Carefully and gracefully, Lightbown relates Botticellis paintings to the complex and contradictory culture of fifteenth-century Florence, a society that combined worldly pageantry with piety, classical learning with vernacular vigor. Lightbown focuses particularly on the artists relationship with the Medici as well as other prominent Florentine families, and concludes with a discussion of the intense, highly wrought paintings of his last years.Botticelli, Sa

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

``There is no more radiant picture in European art than this,'' writes Lightbown of Botticelli's Birth of Venus . That painting, as well as the Primavera and other Botticelli masterpieces, have been newly cleaned in the past decade, so the radiance of their reproductions dazzle in this expanded revision of Lightbown's 1978 monograph. An absorbing text, fresh photographs of every autograph work and marvelous enlarged details of the cleaned ones situate the Florentine innovator in the hothouse of 15th-century politics and Renaissance culture. How did Botticelli break away from the Gothic style of his mentors to achieve his powerful, plastic idiom? By painful trial and error, Lightbown demonstrates. This British expert on Renaissance painting discusses Botticelli's remarkable portraits (only eight or so survive), his religious visions and the agitated energy of his almost hallucinatory drawings for Dante's Divine Comedy. All students of Botticelli should own this resplendent volume. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved