(Born Florence, c.1445; buried Florence, 17 May 1510). Florentine painter, neglected for centuries but now one of the best-loved artists of the Renaissance. The name ‘Botticelli’ (‘little barrel’) was originally given to an older brother, presumably because he was portly, but it was adopted as the family surname. According to Vasari, Sandro was first apprenticed to a goldsmith and then trained under Filippo Lippi. Lippi's sweetness and grace certainly had a strong influence on him, but Botticelli was more refined, particularly in his draughtsmanship, in which he achieved an extraordinary combination of delicacy and flowing vitality: Bernard Berenson described him as ‘the greatest artist of linear design that Europe has ever had’.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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