Sandro Botticelli was born as Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi in Florence, Italy.
The 14 year old Sandro started an apprenticeship as goldsmith. But that he did not seem to like.
Botticelli was apprenticed to Fra Filippo Lippi, a great painter of that time. Many of his early works have been attributed to the elder master. It was from Lippi that Botticelli learned a more intimate and detailed manner.
Sandro Botticelli opened his own workshop and started creating commissioned art.
Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici gave the order for an illustration of the „Divine Comedy“ from Dante Alighieri. Sandro Botticelli took on that challenge and started his work on this project.
Sandro got an offer to work together with other renowned artist to create the interior of the Sistine Chappell in the Vatican. He, however, returned from his work in Rom after one year.
Back in Florence he continued working on the Dante illustrations.
Sandro Botticelli might have stopped working on the “Dante Illustrations” during the heat of
the Savonarola revolution, resulting in the Medici’s deprivation of power.
Sandro Botticelli died. It is unclear when and to whom the Dante illustrations were passed on.
Seven selected drawings were demonstrably kept in the library of Alexandre Petau in Paris.
These seven drawings eventually ended up in custody of Christina, former Queen of Sweden. Later these drawings found their way to the Vatican.
The 10th Duke of Hamilton in Scotland is remarked as the owner of these 85 drawings.
The 12th Duke of Hamilton has to sell all the family’s art and manuscripts because of a financial crisis.
But before the collection is auctioned off, Friedrich Lippmann, the director of Berlin Kupferstichkabinett,
mangages to make an offer: He want’s to buy the complete collection before the auction. Mainly to collect
Botticelli’s Dante drawings.
In November, the 85 drawings from the Hamilton collection reach Berlin, where they were immediately taken
out of the old binding and singularly framed in passe-partout.
Now they’re shown to the public for the fist time in centuries.
The Austrian art historian Josef Strzygowski discovers the 7 drawings in the Vatican and reveals them as original Botticellis and as part of the other drawings held in Berlin.
For the first time in centuries, Botticelli’s Dante drawings that have been split between Berlin and Rome, are shown together in exhibitions in Berlin, Rome and London.
For the first time ever, Botticelli’s Dante drawings are shown together in a cinematic film documentary in incredible detail and color fidelity.