Perhaps more than any other painter, Sandro Botticelli (about 1445–1510) exemplifies the artistic achievement of Renaissance Florence in the 15th century. “Botticelli and the Search for the Divine,” organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary and Italy’s Metamorfosi Associazione Culturale, explores the dramatic changes in the artist’s style and subject matter—from poetic depictions of classical gods and goddesses to austere sacred themes—reflecting the shifting political and religious climate of Florence during his lifetime.
The exhibition, the largest and most important display of Botticelli’s works in the United States, features 24 paintings from international lenders and the MFA’s own Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist (about 1500) as well as important loans from Harvard and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Right: Sandro Botticelli and workshop, Venus (detail), about 1484–90. Oil on canvas, transferred from panel. Galleria Sabauda, Turin. lnv. 172.