MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
Solveig Steinhardt examines the evolution of the Botticelli legacy, with some thought-provoking works of art inspired by the great master.
Botticelli and his postRenaissance admirers are showing at the Gemäldegalerie.
Florentine painter Sandro Botticelli was not merely one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance. He also inadvertently kicked off a post- Renaissance trend that has been going on for almost 200 years. From the pre-Raphaelite movement to pop art and the fashion world, his ethereal long-haired blondes clad in soft floral dresses represent a standard of beauty that never seems to fade. Throughout the last two centuries, the master’s works have been reproduced, imitated, distorted, and modernized, with the new works sometimes earning a notoriety of their own. Beginning 24 September, The Botticelli
Renaissance at the Gemäldegalerie (p. 44) explores the history of the artist’s relatively recent rise to universal fame and what led to his becoming an art icon of such epic proportions. More than 100 pieces of European art chart the many original Botticellis that have been reinterpreted as new works, most notably TheBirthOf Venus, which has been reincarnated in Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra’s portrait series of adolescents at the beach, the fashion world’s many tributes to the great painting, and Andy Warhol’s technicolor print. Perhaps the most striking reimagining is Japanese artist Tomoko Nagao’s wide- eyed manga Venus, who finds her seashell transformed into a PlayStation floating on a sea of Baci chocolates and Barilla pasta. Lest we leave out the actual forefather of all this modern and contemporary beauty, the Gemäldegalerie is also exhibiting many of the master’s own pieces, 20 of which are being displayed for the very first time.
“Twenty of Botticelli’s pieces are being displayed for the very first time.“