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Around 1469, a wealthy money changer commissioned
a young painter named Sandro Botticelli
to paint an altar piece.
Botticelli would, of course, become known
as one of the greatest painters of the High Renaissance,
producing works like "La Primavera"
and "The Birth of Venus."
But, in 1469, he had not yet earned this reputation.
The scene this young artist set out to paint was well-known:
the Three Wise Men, or Magi,
arriving at the birth place of Jesus Christ.
Botticelli would aspire to take this common theme
and produce an entirely original work,
while asserting himself
among the most important citizens of Florence.
Many earlier paintings illustrate the Magi
arriving at a stable, stately manger,
fitting for the son of God.
The young Botticelli, however, chose
to place the scene in the dilapidated Roman ruin.
At the center of this structure,
he placed a sturdy rock for Mary and Jesus
to sit high above their visitors.
With this decision, Botticelli seemed to say
Christianity will be built on sturdier stuff than Rome.
Botticelli then populated the space
with important men from his city.
On the right side, he paints the man
who paid for this work, Gaspare del Lama,
looking out at the viewer
and confidently pointing at himself
so that there is no question
who is responsible for this masterpiece.
Though born the son of a barber,
del Lama amassed a good sum of money
through currency exchange in his lifetime.
He earned enough money to buy a burial chapel
and decorate it with a pretty painting.
The Three Wise Men appear at the center of this painting,
kneeling to Mary and Jesus.
As models for these important figures,
Botticelli used members of the important Medici family.
Del Lama's career as a money changer
would not have been possible
without the help of the powerful Medici family,
in particular Cosimo de' Medici,
who appears prominently at Mary's feet.
The other wise men can be identified
as Piero and Giovanni de' Medici,
Cosimo's two sons.
The business of money exchange
had dubious ethical and legal associations,
so the friendship of this powerful family was important.
And the young heir to Medici power, Lorenzo,
could not be omitted from this painting's composition.
He appears to the left of the manger.
This painting seems to say
the Medici legacy, with its many healthy heirs,
will be built on sturdier stuff than Rome.
Botticelli then filled the rest of the space
with other friends and powerful figures from Florence.
And, among the Florentine elite,
the young, confident artist painted himself
looking directly at the viewer.
Botticelli's presence in this painting
illustrates a radical shift in the perception
of artists during this time period.
Botticelli did not view himself
as a common craftsman hired for a simple job.
He viewed himself as a friend
to the powerful families of Florence.
Paintings like "The Adoration of the Magi"
reveal much more than a simple retelling of a biblical story.
They can tell the story of, among other things,
a modestly-born money changer
attempting to spend his money virtuously
by making a local chapel more beautiful,
or the story of an ambitious young painter,
elevating the reputation of his craft
to stand among the wealthy elite of his city.
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【TED-Ed】剖析波提切利 (Botticelli) 的《賢士來朝》Dissecting Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi - James Earle

12643 分類 收藏
稲葉白兎 發佈於 2015 年 1 月 17 日
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