Botticelli – “Simonetta Vespucci”

Simonetta Vespucci is the first beauty in all of Italy, descended from the ancient and wealthy Vespucci family. The future navigator and discoverer of America, Amerigo Vespucci, had yet to be born in this family, but even without this the surname was widely known. Most likely, the portrait was painted in 1474 or 1475 from life, because already in 1476 Simonetta died of consumption at the age of about 23 years. Many researchers believe that Simonetta Vespucci was a kind of muse for Botticelli for several years; he used her image in many of his canvases.

In the picture, Simonetta is depicted in profile to the viewer, which emphasizes the nobility of her lines and the fullness of her chest, barely covered with a corset. Part of the girl’s hair was disheveled and knocked out from under the many hairpins that removed her hair. Simonetta’s face is somewhat sad, but calm, her eyes are pensive and look into the distance. She carefully hides her inner world from outsiders. The decor in the room is simple, without decorations, and the only window through which you can see the clear sky, apparently, indicates that the girl is not yet married.

Description of the painting by Sandro Botticelli “Simonetta Vespucci” in English

In the years of his life, Sandro Botticelli was a famous artist who was often approached with orders from portraits. One of those who wanted to order a portrait was Simonetta, one of the most beautiful women of the Renaissance. “Portrait of a young woman” 1476-1480 is considered one of the best portraits of the artist.

The beauty of Simonetta impressed many artists and princes, during her lifetime she was nicknamed “Incomparable.” There were opinions that it was Simonetta who became the model for the canvas “The Birth of Venus”. Simonetta died at a young age, but for many people she was a symbol of eternal youth for several centuries after her death.

In The Portrait of a Young Woman, the artist follows the traditional style of Filippo Lippi – he returns to the image of a strict profile with an elegant silhouette.

“Portrait of a young woman” allows you to consider the beauty of the girl, which the artist emphasized with numerous ribbons and pearls in a braid. Simonetta’s face expresses calm, in some moments you can catch the notes of sadness. She looks into the distance with thoughtful eyes, which does not allow the viewer to unravel or suggest what the model is thinking. Her narrow lips reflect inner restraint.

The portrait shows a dark room with a window in which you can only see the sky. It is here a symbol of the unmarried position of the girl.

The Vespucci family, from which the girl was born, was famous at that time for its wealth. But besides this, Vespucci was known to everyone thanks to the grace and mind of family members, which can be noted in the portrait of Botticelli.

Year of painting: 1475. Dimensions: 47.5 x 35 cm. Material: wood. Writing technique: tempera. Genre: portrait. Style: early Renaissance. Gallery: Berlin Picture Gallery, Germany.

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