Botticelli’s Birth of Venus

Aside from his painting of the Primavera, Sandro Botticelli’s other greatest work, done for the Medici family, is the Birth of Venus.  Unfortunately, we do not know for sure which Medici it was painted for, or which location it was originally hung in. Before considering the subject matter, it is …

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Masaccio’s Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Eden

Masaccio’s fresco depicting Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden by an angel is located in the Brancacci Chapel inside the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence.  The fresco is part of a larger cycle he painted for part of the chapel, while another painter, …

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Titian’s Pesaro Madonna

Titian’s great altarpiece depicting the Virgin and Child is located in the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari (otherwise known simply as the Frari) in Venice.  The painting shows both of these figures near the top of a stepped platform; the Virgin wears a beautifully-colored red robe covered with …

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Raphael’s Madonna in the Meadow

The painting of the Madonna in the Meadow (also called the Madonna Belvedere) was executed by a twenty-something Raphael while in Florence.  The scene shows the Virgin with Christ and St. John the Baptist in a highly serene and tender moment against a landscape backdrop which places the scene in …

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Perugino’s Christ Handing the Keys to Saint Peter

Perhaps the most famous painting in the Sistine Chapel before Michelangelo’s time was one by fresco by Pietro Perugino called “Christ Handing the Keys of the Kingdom to Saint Peter”.  Perugino carried on what Masaccio and others had been doing before, but he was able to place his painted forms …

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