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

True Color
111 Kb

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

True Color
152 Kb

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

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

True Color
99 Kb

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

True Color
103 Kb

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

True Color
167 Kb

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

True Color
158 Kb

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

True Color
186 Kb

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

True Color
114 Kb

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

True Color
70 Kb

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

True Color
113 Kb

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

True Color
74 Kb

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

True Color
66 Kb

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

True Color
96 Kb

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

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 |