(b. 1445, Firenze, d. 1510, Firenze)


c. 1470
Tempera on panel, 167 x 87 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

The painting was commissioned for the Tribunale della Mercatanzia (a court where crimes of an economic nature were judged) and it was Botticelli's most prestigious work of the 1470s. The entire series of Virtues had been ordered from Piero del Pollaiolo.

The figure of Fortitude is placed on a high throne with elaborately carved arms, a piece clearly traceable to Verocchio, but the feeling of tension that this thoughtful figure gives off surely comes from Antonio del Pollaiolo. The blue enamel work on the armour and the highlights on the metal are particularly interesting as they indicate a thorough knowledge of the goldsmith's art. The way in which the cloth is portrayed comes from Verocchio. The energy and vitality of the girl in armour, expressed in her face and her pose, is an original creation of Botticelli and shows clearly the very personal way in which he developed and enriched the styles of his contemporaries.