Botticelli Portrait Expected to Soar Past $80 Million


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Botticelli Portrait Expected to Soar Past $80 Million

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hence art must be valuable
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Hm, I know you are not serious, but I do have to remark the people easily confuse price and value....
It was not a viewpoint of Art that he admired. You can see his dislike of the Art Market if you ever get the chance to see his documentary on the contemporary art market: The Mona Lisa Curse.
Will it go to Russia or Dubai??
It’s an ok portrait, but pretty schematic and sterile imho. Very very far from a Rembrandt. Sure, Botticelli preceded Rembrandt by about 200 years, but still......
I agree with you Nufocus, it doesn't do much for me either.
But I don't think the price ticket of this work has anything to do with the artistic value of it. I would go even futher, I suspect the buyer cares nothing about that. Sometimes I wonder if the high end art business will end the same way as the dutch tulip mania...
Well... it is somewhat unfair to compare the emotional impact and Baroque drama of Rembrandt to the very different goals of Botticelli. One might speak of the stiffness and dead color of Rembrandt in comparison to Matisse. Personally, I don't think this above painting is the finest work by Botticelli. IMO, he is at his best with the multi-figure compositions including several tondo paintings of the Virgin and Child as well as the Birth of Venus and Primavera, which is quite possibly my single favorite painting. Still, I do think he painted a good number of portraits of real merit:


Portraits such as these were not far removed from today's fashion photography or Hollywood celebrity photos. The intention was to emphasize the physical beauty of the women including their clothing and ornate hairstyles. It is quite likely that the portraits are idealized... combining features of various women... especially Simonetta Vespucci, the wife of a wealthy Italian aristocrat and a distant cousin of Amerigo Vespucci, who modeled for several artists of the time, including Botticelli and Piero di Cosimo. She was praised as the most beautiful woman in Florence and the "unparalleled one" admired by not only artists but also the powerful Medici brothers, Lorenzo and Giuliano. She died at age 22. Over the centuries there have been rumors that Botticelli himself was in love with Simonetta... if not her lover, but this is unlikely, considering her position as the wife of a powerful aristocrat allied to the Medici family. Formally, Botticelli's emphasis is upon undulating and sinuous line.


This portrait of a young nobleman... quite likely another Medici or an ally of the Medicis... strikes me as quite elegant. The element of line is just as refined albeit less ornate than in the female portraits. I'm also struck by a certain arrogant personality that certainly is well-suited to the subject matter.



There are several portraits of Giuliano de' Medici, brother of Lorenzo de' Medici, also known as "Lorenzo the Magnificent". Giuliano was assassinated by members of the powerful rival Florentine family, the Pazzi. Lorenzo was wounded but escaped and carried out a brutal vengeance upon the Pazzis. It is interesting that the assassination was carried out two years to the day after the death of Simonetta Vespucci. Again, I find these portraits quite elegant while Giuliani's expression strikes me as somewhat haughty.


This last portrait is that of the artist himself from his painting of the Adoration of the Magi. Botticelli looks away from the central drama and makes eye contact with the audience or viewer with an expression that strikes me as somewhat questioning... and yet again a bit haughty.