Portraits
by Sandro BOTTICELLI

Botticelli established a reputation as a portraitist in the 1470s. It is evidenced by several portraits from this period. Particular attention is drawn to the Portrait of a Man holding up towards the observer a medallion bearing the likeness of Cosimo Medici the Elder, as well as the portraits of Giuliano de' Medici, the younger brother of Lorenzo the Magnificent. The early portraits typically show their subjects in a three-quarter view, a new ambitious form of portrait which did not become widespread in Florence until about 1470.

Botticelli's late portraits, similarly to the secular stories like the Calumny of Apelles, reveal the stylistic change in his work. Now he no longer added landscape vistas or the view of inner rooms, as he had done in his earlier portraits. Instead he reduced the background to a surface of one colour alone, in order that the observer's attention not be distracted from the depicted person. This reductive manner of painting, sometimes almost ascetic in its effect, reflects Botticelli's breaking away from the sumptuously ornamented, decorative style in which he previously treated his pictorial subjects.

Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Portrait of a Young Man
c. 1469
Tempera on panel, 51 x 33,7 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

820*1229
True Color
111 Kb



Portrait of a Lady
1470-75
Tempera on panel, 65,7 x 41 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

743*1205
True Color
152 Kb



Portrait of a Young Woman
c. 1475
Tempera on panel, 61 x 40 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

801*1205
True Color
123 Kb



Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder
c. 1474
Tempera on panel, 57,5 x 44 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

820*1036
True Color
99 Kb



Giuliano de' Medici
c. 1478
Tempera on panel, 60 x 39 cm
Accademia Carrara, Bergamo

801*1193
True Color
103 Kb



Portrait of Giuliano de' Medici
1476-77
Tempera on panel, 76 x 53 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

1102*1600
True Color
167 Kb



Giuliano de' Medici
c. 1478
Tempera on panel, 57 x 39 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

1000*1506
True Color
158 Kb



Portrait of a Young Woman
1480-85
Tempera on wood, 82 x 54 cm
Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt

1000*1513
True Color
186 Kb



Portrait of a Young Woman
after 1480
Oil on panel, 47,5 x 35 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

654*904
True Color
114 Kb



Portrait of a Young Man
c. 1483
Tempera on panel, 37,5 x 28,2 cm
National Gallery, London

750*997
True Color
70 Kb



Portrait of a Young Man
1482-83
Tempera on panel, 41 x 31 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

801*1049
True Color
113 Kb



Portrait of a Man
c. 1490
Tempera on canvas transferred from wood, 49 x 35 cm
Private collection

775*1100
True Color
74 Kb



Portrait of Lorenzo di Ser Piero Lorenzi
1490-95
Tempera on panel, 50 x 36,5 cm
Museum of Art, Philadelphia

700*915
True Color
66 Kb



Portrait of Dante
c. 1495
Tempera on canvas, 54,7 x 47,5 cm
Private collection

730*1092
True Color
96 Kb



Portrait of a Youth
1490s
Wood, 57 x 39 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

850*1200
True Color
102 Kb




Summary of works by Botticelli
| early paintings | late paintings |
religious paintings | page 1 | page 2 |
| Cappella Sistina | San Barnaba | San Marco |
| allegories | Nastagio | scenic stories | portraits |
| drawings | illustrations for Dante's Divine Comedy |