109 x 75 cm
National Gallery, London, UK
Botticelli’s fame faded after his death in 1510, as he quickly fell under the shadow of his great contemporaries Michelangelo and Raphael. This is his only signed painting. It was not until a British art collector named William Young Ottley, who bought the painting in 1799 and returned with it to England, that Botticelli’s fame began to rise. It was first exhibited in Manchester in 1857, where more than a million people viewed the painting. After the exhibition, Botticelli’s frescoes in Italy began to receive more and more attention, and artists were recreating Botticelli’s image in monographs by 1893. His popularity was still spreading, and in the first two decades of the 20th century, more works were written about Botticelli than any other artist.