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

Three Temptations of Christ (detail)

Cappella Sistina, Vatican

Among the crowd of people making up the Jewish sacrificial scene, a woman in the left-hand foreground who is carrying on her head a bowl with hens in it strikes us familiar. This figure is a copy of Abra, the maid in the small panel of The Return of Judith to Bethulia, which Botticelli had painted a decade before. The posture of the woman carrying wood in the right-hand foreground (this picture) may also be derived from this picture. These similarities lead to the assumption that Botticelli kept sketches of his compositions and figures so to have a stock of motifs upon which he could then draw his later pictorial creations.

In contrast, Botticelli borrowed the small boy holding bunches of grape, and who has been frightened by a snake, from Hellenistic sculpture.