It is difficult to define which is really the time of Sandro Botticelli.
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of friendship and trade between Italy and Japan, the theme of the universal codes of the art of one of the Renaissance Masters is investigated through the exhibition in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, “Botticelli and his time”, curated by Alessandro Cecchi and Shigetoshi Osano.
As well as the artist’s fame, also the exhibition opens under the name of Lorenzo the Magnificent. And among “St. Michael the Archangel fighting the dragon”, “The Battle of the Ten Nudes”, the ‘”Hercules and Antaeus” by Antonio del Pollaiolo and “Madonna with child” by Andrea del Verrocchio, one can recap those years loaded with struggles and faith.
His life was changed by his father’s decision to place him in Filippo Lippi’s workshop, a famous painter Carmelite friar, towards 1459-1460.

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

“Many said the spirit of Masaccio entered into the body of Filippo” wrote Vasari, and now the mind of Filippo Lippi is manifested in the Eastern land. His “Madonna Enthroned with Angels and Saints” (about 1430) and “Madonna and Child, Saints, Angels and the donor” (1435-1437) respond with their own bright light. While everything gets immediately dark among the rocks of “Pietà” (about 1440).

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

The women by Botticelli are “velvet flowers with arched features, long, pale eyes, heads languishing under the weight of gold masses” (Adolfo Venturi). Before arriving at the Venus I look at the Mother. 

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Between the leaves, not yet Pompeian green, there appears the “Madonna and Child (Madonna del Roseto)”; in a friendly and family room, is set the “Madonna of the Book”. Until when, with the workshop, he does not get to make the roses bloom, to make the Christ naked launching himself towards the mother while she remains aloof and praying among the understanding glances of the angels.

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Simonetta Vespucci, a symbol of the Florentine aristocracy, seems to split herself in two: two tempera paintings held one in the Marubeni Collection in Tokyo, the other at the Palatina Gallery of Pitti Palace (around 1485).

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

And with real women of history come the ideal women of mythology. It is the “Calumny of Apelles” (1497). Maybe the whole work refers to the story of his friend Antonio Segni or perhaps he wanted to ideally compare himself to Apelles? Surely it is the last witness of the Laurentian culture to which Botticelli was strongly linked and of the world that with the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent had been destroyed.

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Before the “Adoration of the Magi”, it would be right to kneel. Vasari describes the work recognizing in the faces of the subjects those of the Florentine Medici family together with the same commissioner of the work and the same Sandro Botticelli, who made the scene immortal.

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli’s time implies its very onset and its very end: as well as the art of the master Filippo Lippi had been described, we pass to Filippino Lippi, the disciple who, it is said, surpassed the master. It opens like a mirage his personal and private view of ” Adoration of the Child “(about 1478) up to reveal the spherical and silent dialogue between the ”Angel of the Annunciation” and the “Virgin Annunciate”. As last meeting of my renaissance trip to Tokyo, I find “St. John the Baptist” and “St. Mary Magdalene”, the side of the “Trittico Valori.” And together we remain waiting.

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Given the achronicity of Botticelli’s time, I must affirm once again his genius was without limits.

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie VezzosiBotticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

Botticelli e il suo tempo, Tokyo, Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi

#botticellieilsuotempo #followtheartgirl

Credits:
Special thanks: Vivetta
Photo: Androniki Christodoulou 

AMOinfo:
Botticelli e il suo tempo”
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali, Ministero degli Affari Esteri, Associazione MetaMorfosi

AMOlinks:
www.tobikan.jp/en/exhibition/botticelli.html
www.ilsole24ore.com/a-tokyo-botticelli