A member of the Florentine school of the early Renaissance period, Sandro Botticelli became an apprentice to the painter Fra Filippo Lippi at the age of 14, opening his own workshop in 1470. His two masterpieces are considered to be Primavera and The Birth of Venus (painted in 1478 and 1485), both of which were acquired by the ruling Medici family.
In 1481 Botticelli went to Rome, with other Florentine painters, summoned by the Pope to decorate the Sistine Chapel.
Botticelli underwent a religious transformation through the influence of the Divine, Savonarola, causing him to burn those of his paintings with pagan themes, and which he still had in his possession. Thereafter Botticelli devoted himself to religious works, particularly images of the Madonna, among which is the exquisite Annunciatzione, housed in the Uffizi in Florence.
Botticelli’s work, Adoration of the Magi, contains portraits of eminent citizens of Florence of the time, including, it is believed, a self-portrait.
It is a truism that Botticelli frequently presented the female image, whether it be Venus or the Madonna, with striking, pale, reddish hair.