Showing posts with label Botticelli. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Botticelli. Show all posts

4 August 2018

Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici - politician

Art enthusiast who was Botticelli’s major patron

Botticelli's 1479 Portrait of a Young Man,  is thought to be Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco
Botticelli's 1479 Portrait of a Young Man,
is thought to be Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco
The Florentine banker and politician Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici, who was a significant figure in Renaissance art as the main sponsor and patron of the painter Sandro Botticelli, was born on this day in 1463.

The great-grandson of Giovanni di Bicci de’ Medici, the founder of the Medici bank, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco belonged to the junior, sometimes known as ‘Popolani’ branch of the House of Medici.

In 1476, when he and his brother, Giovanni, were still boys, their father, Pierfrancesco de’ Medici the Elder, died. They became wards, effectively, of their cousin, Lorenzo il Magnifico - Lorenzo the Magnificenta member of the senior branch of the family and the effective ruler of Florence.

Relations between the two branches had been tense for some years and were not helped when Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco discovered, on becoming an adult, that Lorenzo had plundered a considerable sum from he and his brother’s joint inheritance in order to stave off a threatened bankruptcy of the family’s financial empire.

Although Lorenzo had provided the boys with the best education money could buy - the notable Florentine Renaissance humanists Marsilio Ficino, Angelo Poliziano and Giorgio Antonio Vespucci (uncle of Amerigo) were among their tutors - and given them a number of properties in compensation, the incident created a lingering bitterness.

Meanwhile, thanks to the curiosities stirred by the education he received, Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco developed a reputation as an art connoisseur. In around 1485, he commissioned an illuminated manuscript of Dante's Divine Comedy featuring artwork by Botticelli, to whom he had been introduced by the Vespucci family, who were neighbours of the Botticellis in Florence.

Botticelli's Primavera is thought to have been commissioned to celebrate Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco's marriage
Botticelli's Primavera is thought to have been commissioned
to celebrate Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco's marriage
Two of Sandro Botticelli’s most famous works may have been commissioned to celebrate the marriage that Lorenzo il Magnifico arranged between Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco and Semiramide Appiano, daughter of the Appiani lord Jacopo III of Piombino.

It is thought that Lorenzo il Magnifico commissioned Botticelli's Pallas Athene Taming a Centaur as a wedding gift to the new couple, while either Lorenzo il Magnifico or Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco himself had Botticelli paint his allegorical work Primavera as a celebration, with Mercury representing Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco and Semiramide by the central figure of Grace.

After the wedding, both paintings were displayed on the walls of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco’s villa in the centre of Florence. Some accounts suggest that he also commissioned Botticelli's best known work, The Birth of Venus, one of the most famous paintings of the Renaissance by any artist.

The tension that still existed between him and Lorenzo il Magnifico came to a head in October 1484, when his cousin, determined to protect the primacy of the senior branch of the Medici family, had Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco's name removed from the lists of persons eligible for election to the Florentine political institutions.

Angelo Bronzino's portrait of the Florentine leader Lorenzo il Magnifico
Angelo Bronzino's portrait of the Florentine
leader Lorenzo il Magnifico
A settlement was agreed in 1485 by which Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco and his brother were given the Medici family property of Villa Cafaggiolo in the Mugello region. Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco was unhappy, though, at having to shelve his political ambitions.

When Lorenzo il Magnifico died in 1492, Lorenzo and Giovanni sided against il Magnifico's son, Piero. They were exiled as a result but returned when King Charles VIII of France invaded Italy and Piero was ousted from Florence by a Republican government.

The nickname Popolano - meaning ‘of the people’ - was coined for the brothers and Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco became a popular figure in the new administration. He extended his patronage of the arts to protect Botticelli, Michelangelo, Filippino Lippi and Bartolomeo Scala, and in 1494 he founded a workshop of ceramics at Cafaggiolo.

He was pushed out when the hellfire preacher Girolamo Savonarola swept to power in 1494 with his denunciation of clerical corruption, despotic rule and the exploitation of the poor, yet refused to return even after the controversial Dominican friar was burned at the stake in the main square of the city in 1498.

Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco died in Florence in 1503, aged only 39. Years later, his grandson Lorenzino de' Medici murdered Alessandro de' Medici, the last ruler of Florence from the senior branch of the Medici, thereby passing power to Lorenzo's great-grandson Cosimo I de' Medici.

The Villa del Trebbio, which Cosimo de' Medici turned into a fortified castle
The Villa del Trebbio, which Cosimo de' Medici turned
into a fortified castle
Travel tip:

One of the properties owned by Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco was the Villa del Trebbio, which he inherited from his grandfather Lorenzo the Elder.  Located near San Piero a Sieve in the Mugello region, the area from which the Medici family originated, it was possibly the first of the Medici villas built outside Florence, on top of a hill dominating the Val di Sieve. It had earlier belonged to Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici, the founder of the Medici bank, and was remodelled by his son, Cosimo de' Medici, whose architect, Michelozzo, restyled it as a fortified castle.

The Piazzale between the two wings of the Uffizi, which links Piazza della Signoria with the Arno river
The Piazzale between the two wings of the Uffizi, which links
Piazza della Signoria with the Arno river
Travel tip:

Primavera, Pallas Athene Taming a Centaur and The Birth of Venus are among a number of Botticelli paintings displayed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, which is one of the largest and best known art museums in the world. Its collection of priceless works, particularly from the period of the Italian Renaissance, owes much to Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, the last Medici heiress, who bequeathed the family’s entire art collection to the city of Florence. The Uffizi was open to visitors by request as early as the 16th century, and in 1765 it was officially opened to the public.

More reading:

Why Lorenzo the Magnificent was seen as a benign despot

Cosimo de' Medici  - the first Medici ruler of Florence

How Sandro Botticelli's paintings became forgotten works of genius

Also on this day:

1521: The birth of Pope Urban VII

1994: The death of politician Giovanni Spadolini


8 April 2018

Lorenzo the Magnificent - Renaissance ruler

Patron of the arts who sponsored Michelangelo and Botticelli

A portrait of Lorenzo the Magnificent by the Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino
A portrait of Lorenzo the Magnificent by the
Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino
Lorenzo de’ Medici, the ruler of Florence usually known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, died on this day in 1492 in the Medici villa at Careggi, just to the north of the city.

He was only 43 and is thought to have developed gangrene as a result of an inherited genetic condition.  He had survived an assassination attempt 14 years earlier in what became known as the Pazzi Conspiracy, in which his brother, Giuliano, was killed.

The grandson of Cosimo de’ Medici, Lorenzo was a strict ruler but history has judged him as a benevolent despot, whose reign coincided with a period of stability and peace in relations between the Italian states.

He helped maintain the Peace of Lodi, a treaty agreed in 1454 between Milan, Naples and Florence which was signed by his grandfather.

However, he is most remembered as an enthusiastic patron of Renaissance culture, providing support for poets, scholars and artists, notably Michelangelo and Botticelli.

He contributed more than anyone to the flowering of Florentine genius during the second half of the 15th century. Respected himself for his poetry, he held lavish parties for his artistic friends at the Careggi villa and was the protector of artists such as Giuliano da Sangallo, Botticelli, Andrea del Verrocchio, and Verrocchio’s pupil Leonardo da Vinci.

A young Lorenzo as he appeared in Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi
A young Lorenzo as he appeared in
Botticelli's Adoration of the Magi
Lorenzo opened a school of sculpture, at which he noticed the great talent of a 15-year-old pupil called Michelangelo Buonarroti, whom he took under his wing and brought up like a son.

Sandro Botticelli repaid his patronage by using Medici family members as models in some of his most famous religious paintings. In his Madonna of the Magnificat, for example, one of the figures is Lorenzo, while the Madonna is his mother, Lucrezia Tornabuoni. Lorenzo also appears in Botticelli’s Adoration of the Magi, while Mars in his Mars and Venus is Lorenzo’s brother, Giuliano.

In addition to his patronage of artists, Lorenzo also expanded the collection of books begun by Cosimo, which became the Medici Library. He retrieved large numbers of classical works from the East, which he had copied and shared with other countries across Europe. He also supported philosophers such as Marsilio Ficino, Poliziano and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola.

Although the assets of the Medici bank were diminished during Lorenzo’s rule, partly through the family focussing more on power than the actual source of their power, i.e. money, they were still not short of jealous rivals and the Pazzi family fell into this category.

With the support of Pope Sixtus IV, Francesco Pazzi conspired with Girolamo Riario, the Lord of Imola, and Francesco Salviati, the archbishop of Pisa, to attack Lorenzo and Giuliano, who were joint rulers of Florence at the time, during High Mass at the Duomo.

The goal was to kill both and seize power, but while Giuliano was being stabbed to death Lorenzo escaped into the sacristy, where he hid from the assassins. The coup d’├ętat therefore failed and it is estimated that around 80 people, either conspirators or their associates, were captured and executed in the months that followed.

Controversially, it was Lorenzo de’ Medici, taking advice from his friend, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, who was responsible for the return to Florence of the firebrand priest Girolamo Savonarola, who had left his position at the Convent of San Marco some years earlier after proposing sweeping reforms to the Catholic Church.  Savonarola’s preaching, in which he railed against despotic rulers and the exploitation of the poor, and persuaded people that works of art and literature were sinful and should be destroyed, would eventually provoke the overthrowing of the Medici family.

The Palazzo Pitti was acquired by the Medici family from the Florentine banker Luca Pitti
The Palazzo Pitti was acquired by the Medici family
from the Florentine banker Luca Pitti
Travel tip:

Florence has a wealth of preserved antiquity, but one of the finest examples of true Renaissance architecture is the Palazzo Pitti - the Pitti Palace - which was originally commissioned in 1458 as a house for the Florentine banker Luca Pitti, a friend and supporter of Cosimo de’ Medici. Designed by Luca Fancelli, a pupil of Filippo Brunelleschi, it is characterised by a strong, symmetrical structure, wide arches and rusticated stone pillars and walls. It was later sold to Eleonora di Toledo, wife of Cosimo I de Medici (not to be confused with Cosimo de’ Medici, who came from a different branch of the family) , and remained in the Medici family for centuries. Today it houses the biggest museum in Florence and a number of art galleries, and looks out across the Boboli Gardens, created on land Eleonora bought from the wealthy Boboli family.

The Villa Careggi, where Lorenzo died in 1492
The Villa Careggi, where Lorenzo died in 1492
Travel tip:

In common with his grandfather, Cosimo, Lorenzo died at the Villa Careggi, originally a working farm acquired in 1417 by Cosimo’s father to make his family self-sufficient. Cosimo employed the architect Michelozzo to remodel it around a central courtyard overlooked by loggias. Lorenzo extended the terraced garden and the shaded woodland area. Careggi, which is not far from Florence’s airport, is nowadays a suburb of the city, about 8km (5 miles) northwest of the centre.

More reading:

Cosimo de' Medici - founder of the Medici banking dynasty

Girolamo Riario - the papal military leader murdered after failed Pazzi plot

The rival in the court of Lorenzo who broke Michelangelo's nose

Also on this day:

1848: The death of the composer Gaetano Donizetti

1868: The birth of equestrian pioneer Federico Caprilli, who revolutionised jumping technique


28 January 2018

Simonetta Vespucci – Renaissance beauty

Noblewoman hailed as embodiment of female perfection

Simonetta Vespucci, as recalled by Sandro Botticelli in his 1480s Portrait of a Woman
Simonetta Vespucci, as recalled by Sandro
Botticelli in his 1480s Portrait of a Woman
Simonetta Vespucci, a young noblewoman who became the most sought-after artist’s model in Florence in the mid-15th century, is thought to have been born on this day in 1453.

Born Simonetta Cattaneo to a Genoese family, she was taken to Florence in 1469 when she married Marco Vespucci, an eligible Florentine nobleman who was a distant cousin of the explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci.

She quickly became the talk of Florentine society. Soon known as La Bella Simonetta, she captivated painters and young noblemen alike with her beauty. 

It is said that, shortly before her arrival, a group of artists had been discussing their idea of the characteristics of perfect female beauty and were stunned, on meeting Simonetta, to discover that their idealised woman actually existed.

The Medici brothers, Lorenzo and Giuliano, were said to have been besotted with her, Giuliano in particular, while she is thought to have been the model for several of Sandro Botticelli’s portraits of women.

The female figure standing on a shell in Botticelli’s masterpiece, The Birth of Venus, so closely resembles the woman in the paintings accepted as being Simonetta Vespucci that some critics insist he must have based his Venus on her.

The Venus in Botticelli’s Primavera has the same hair colour and similar facial features, as does one of the figures in his Three Graces.

Another Botticelli Portrait of a Woman, clearly of the same model
Another Botticelli Portrait of a Woman,
clearly of the same model
The romantic notion that Botticelli, who never married, carried with him an unrequited love for Simonetta is reinforced by the story that, having outlived her, he asked to be buried at the Church of Ognissanti in Florence because she had been laid to rest there, although historians have pointed out that he had been baptized there and was buried with his family.

Other artists were similarly inspired by her. The 1490 Portrait of a woman by Piero di Cosimo is also believed to be Simonetta Vespucci.

Considering the impact she supposedly made, in reality her life was tragically short.

The daughter of a Genoese nobleman, Gaspare Catteneo, she was probably born in Genoa but some like to believe she was born in Porto Venere, the coastal town near La Spezia, the place that legend says was the birthplace of Venus herself.

Whichever it is true, she is said to have met Marco Simonetti while he was attending the Banco di San Giorgio. The young man asked her father for her hand and Gaspare, aware that the marriage would enhance his family’s social standing through Vespucci’s connection with the Medici, gave his approval.

In any event, both Lorenzo and Giuliano fell for her charms on their first meeting, and offered the couple use of a palazzo in Via Larga for the wedding ceremony followed by the wedding breakfast at their lavish Villa di Careggi.  The groom and his bride were both around 16 years old.

The Botticelli masterpiece The Birth of Venus is thought to have been inspired by Simonetta Vespucci
The Botticelli masterpiece The Birth of Venus is thought to
have been inspired by Simonetta Vespucci
Afterwards, Lorenzo was too busy with the politics of the day to pay Simonetta much attention but it was a different story for Giuliano, who did not conceal his feelings despite her now being married.

On one occasion, he took part in La Giostra, a jousting tournament, carrying a banner on which was a picture of Simonetta and an inscription, in French, that read La Sans Pareille, which translates in context as ‘The Woman Unparalleled’.

Guiliano won the tournament and dedicated his victory to ‘the Queen of Beauty’ and there have been suggestions that the pair become lovers, although historians think this was unlikely.

Simonetta died just one year later, at the age of 22.  It is thought she was stricken with tuberculosis, known at the time as ‘the subtle evil’ and a disease that was usually fatal.

During her funeral procession, it is said that the coffin was opened so that onlookers could appreciate her beauty one last time, although it appears to have been preserved for posterity in art.

The Uffizi overlooks the Arno river in central Florence
The Uffizi overlooks the Arno river in central Florence
Travel tip:

Botticelli’s paintings The Birth of Venus and Primavera can both be found in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, one of the largest and most important art museums in the world and the most visited art gallery in Italy, attracting more than two million visitors a year, with so many wanting to make it part of their experience of Florence that turning up without a pre-booked ticket can mean waiting up to five hours to be allowed in.  The complex of buildings that make up the gallery was originally designed by Giorgio Vasari on behalf of Cosimo I de’ Medici as offices – uffizi – for the Florentine magistrates.

The Villa di Castello is set in extensive gardens
The Villa di Castello is set in extensive gardens
Travel tip:

It is thought Cosimo I de’ Medici also commissioned Botticelli to provide some paintings to decorate the walls of a country house, the Villa di Castello, that the family had acquired in the hills northwest of Florence, near the town of Sesto Fiorentino and not far from the city's airport. Cosimo also commissioned an engineer, Piero di San Casciano, to build a system of aqueducts to carry water to the villa and gardens, a sculptor, Niccolo Tribolo, to create fountains and statues in the gardens and Vasari to restore and enlarge the main building.

7 February 2017

The Bonfire of the Vanities

Preacher Savonarola's war on Renaissance 'excesses'

The statue of Girolamo Savonarola in  Piazza Savonarola in Florence
The statue of Girolamo Savonarola in
Piazza Savonarola in Florence
The most famous 'bonfire of the vanities' encouraged by the outspoken Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola took place in Florence on this day in 1497.

Savonarola campaigned against what he considered to be the artistic and social excesses of the Renaissance, preaching with fanatical passion against any material possession that might tempt the owner towards sin.

He became notorious for organising large communal bonfires in the tradition of San Bernardino of Siena, urging Florentines to come forward with items of luxury or vanity or even simply entertainment that might draw them away from their faith.

Savonarola arrived in Florence from his home town of Ferrara in 1482, entering the convent of St Mark. With Lorenzo de' Medici at the height of his power, Savonarola became disturbed by what he perceived as the moral collapse of the Catholic church.

For a number of years he confined himself to speaking about repentance to congregations of believers in the parishes around Florence but on returning to the city in 1490 he began to campaign with more vigour about what he saw as the need for a return to piety.

He issued dire warnings about what would happen to Florence and its citizens if they did not renounce their sins, prophesising that a powerful leader would arrive from the north to punish Italy and reform the church.

Paintings by Botticelli were considered indecent under's Savonarola's moral code
Paintings by Botticelli were considered
indecent under's Savonarola's moral code
Savonarola's condemnation of what he considered the vice and corruption infecting the Catholic bishops and cardinals, and his attacks on the wealthy for ignoring the plight of the poor and sick, struck a chord with the common people and he became an increasingly powerful figure.

When Emperor Charles VIII of France invaded Italy from the north in 1494, many people saw this as confirmation of Savonarola’s prediction.  They rose up against the Medici family, the major sponsors of Renaissance art and literature, and drove them from the city, after which Savonarola became the effective leader of a new Florentine republic.

Savonarola began to host his bonfires in 1495, at around the time that used to be taken up with Carnival celebrations, which he cancelled.

At first, it was items of vanity such as mirrors, cosmetics, jewellery and fine clothes that were thrown on to the flames, along with playing cards, musical instruments and such pagan fripperies as books of magic and astrology. Savonarola employed street urchins to knock on doors, demanding luxurious and suspect items were handed over.

But the scope of what was deemed to be sinful grew. Soon, he was demanding that books he saw as immoral, such as works by Boccaccio, were burned, as well as paintings and sculptures, manuscripts and tapestries. Priceless works by Dante and the Roman poets Ovid and Propertius were said to have been consigned to the flames.

A painting by an unknown Florentine artist depicts the bonfire built in Piazza della Signoria in which Savonarola was burned
A painting by an unknown Florentine artist depicts the bonfire
built in Piazza della Signoria in which Savonarola was burned
At the same time, Savonarola spread fear among the people with ever more horrific visions of what fate would befall them if they did not live according to his strict moral code. Higher church officials viewed all this with increasing unease and for Pope Alexander VI, it seems, the huge bonfire of 1497 - in which the Florentine artist Sandro Botticelli is said to have burned several of his own paintings - was the last straw.

Already in defiance of a ban on his preaching imposed when he failed to support Pope Alexander's military response to the French invasion, Savonarola was excommunicated in May 1497. The following year, having confessed that his visions and prophecies were invented, he was condemned as a heretic and, with two other friars, hung from a cross in Florence's Piazza della Signoria, to be consumed by a bonfire built beneath him.

A statue of Savonarola, completed in 1875 by the sculptor Enrico Pazzi, from Ravenna, can be found in Piazza Savonarola, about 2km north-east of Florence's centre,

Travel tip:

Florence's Piazza della Signoria has been the focal point of the city since the 14th century. Overlooked by the imposing Palazzo Vecchio, it was the scene of the triumphant return of the Medici family in 1530, three and a half decades after they had been driven from the city by the supporters of the fanatical Savonarola. The controversial priest's bonfires of the vanities were built in the middle of the square, where his own body was burned at the stake in 1498 after he was denounced as a heretic. A marble circle inscription on the piazza shows the spot where he was burned.

Florence hotels from

The Piazza della Signoria is Florence's main square
The Piazza della Signoria is Florence's main square
Travel tip:

The Piazza della Signoria contains several important sculptures and statues, including a copy of Michelangelo's David - the original is in the Galleria dell'Accademia - outside the Palazzo Vecchio, which is said to be a symbol of defiance against the tyranny of the Medici.  The family apparently installed or appropriated their own symbols of power in the shape of Bandinelli's Hercules and Cacus, just to the right of the David, and the Nettuno by Ammannati, which celebrates the Medici's maritime ambitions.  Giambologna's equestrian statue of Duke Cosimo I is a tribute to the man who brought all of Tuscany under Medici military rule.  Under the Loggia dei Lanzi, to the right of Palazzo Vecchio, the statue of Perseo holding Medusa's head, by Benvenuto Cellini, is a stark reminder of what happened to those who crossed the Medici. Giambologna's Rape of the Sabines can also be found in the Loggia dei Lanzi.

Hotels in Florence from Expedia

More reading:

The execution of Girolamo Savonarola

Sandro Botticelli - Renaissance master forgotten until the 19th century

How scheming Pope Alexander VI married off his children to secure power

Also on this day:

1622: The birth of Vittoria della Rovere, Grand Duchess of Tuscany

1941: The birth in San Marino of pop singer Little Tony

(Picture credits: Savonarola statue by liviathana; Piazza della Signoria by Zolli; via Wikimedia Commons)


17 May 2016

Sandro Botticelli – painter

Renaissance master was forgotten until the 19th century

Botticelli's The Birth of Venus
Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, painted in 1485
Early Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli died on this day in 1510 in Florence.

Years before his death he had asked to be buried in the Church of Ognissanti in Florence at the feet of a woman for whom it is believed he suffered unrequited love. 

She was Simonetta Vespucci, a married noblewoman, who had died in 1476. She is thought to have been the model for Botticelli’s major work, The Birth of Venus, which was painted years later in 1485, and that she also appeared in many of his other paintings.

After his death, Botticelli was quickly forgotten and his paintings remained in the churches and villas for which they had been created until the late 19th century, when people started to appreciate his work again.

Botticelli was born Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi in 1445. He was active during the golden age of painting in Florence under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici and Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de' Medici and was for a time apprenticed to both Fra Filippo Lippi and Verrocchio.

In 1481 Botticelli was summoned to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV to paint three frescoes for the Sistine Chapel. Another of his major works, Primavera, was painted just after this in 1482.

In later life Botticelli was influenced by the religious preacher, Savonarola, and his art became deeply devout. The Mystical Nativity, painted in 1500, is an example of this change of style.

After his death he was largely forgotten until the beginning of the 19th century when an English collector bought The Mystical Nativity and took it back home with him. The painting later went on show in Manchester, where it was viewed by a million people, and sparked renewed interest in the artist.

Chiesa di San Salvatore di Ognissanti
Chiesa di San Salvatore di Ognissanti
Travel tip:

Botticelli’s wishes were carried out and his tomb is in the Chiesa di San Salvatore di Ognissanti, a Franciscan church in Borgo Ognissanti in the centre of Florence. Botticelli’s fresco of Saint Augustine, painted in 1480, can be seen on the south wall of the church.

Travel tip:

Many of Botticelli’s works are in the Uffizi gallery in Florence where they are now admired by millions of visitors from all over the world. Work began in 1560 to create a suite of offices (uffici) for the administration of Cosimo I. The architect, Vasari, created a wall of windows on the upper storey and from about 1580 the Medici began to use this well-lit space to display their art treasures. This was the start of one of the most famous art galleries in the world. The present day Uffizi Gallery, in Piazzale degli Uffizi, is open from 8.15 am to 6.50 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.

More reading:

Savonarola and the Bonfire of the Vanities

Why Simonetta Vespucci was hailed as the embodiment of human perfection

The patron of the arts who sponsored Michelangelo and Botticelli