At the cinema “Botticelli and Florence

As often happens when one reflects on the journey and works of a great figure in history, one cannot ignore the place in which he worked and the context that prompted him to create his works. On the other hand, art in all its forms – whether they are novels, photographs or paintings – is nothing more than an intellectual expression and above all a very powerful communication tool. For a society like that of the 1400s in which religion played a very important role and in which life was so distant from the modern one, art thus performed not only a purely decorative function but also and above all an educational function. The art of Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, known as Botticelli was no less, indeed he actually played a mediating function between the power that commissioned his works and the recipients who had to read messages and learn from them. Botticelli was a painter who, aware of his own ability, acted to obtain the best and achieve that longed-for form of perfection which has been the subject of debate and study in many cultural fields.

One could argue that perfection does not exist, that its canons do not exist, but in reality it is each age that identifies its own, whether it is in the colours, shapes or overall of a work. In hindsight, it remains amazing to see the qualitative excellence achieved by a painter like Botticelli in all of his paintings, not to mention the metaphors inserted or the references that allow us to discover so many hidden messages within a simple Square. The documentary takes viewers through Botticelli’s artistic life and comments on some of his most famous and most interesting works, providing an unprecedented interpretation. Botticelli and Florence. The Birth of Beauty is the docufilm, with the narrative voice of Jasmine Trinca, produced by Sky, Ballandi and Nexo Digital with the sponsorship of the Municipality of Florence, conceived and written by Francesca Priori and directed by Marco Pianigiani. It will arrive at the cinema only on November 28, 29 and 30.

Botticelli and Florence – The birth of beauty

As already mentioned within the film, the relationship between Botticelli and Florence is central, not only his hometown but in all respects the cradle of his art. Inextricably linked to Florence is the name of the rich banker Medici who – first with Cosimo and then Lorenzo – allowed the city to become one of the cultural centers of excellence in all of Europe and provided all artists such as Botticelli with the possibility of creating of masterpieces. Thanks to them and to the ambition of Sandro, who was already working in the family workshop at the age of 25 despite his humble origins, art in Florence reached new heights which consecrated it as a reference model over the centuries. The Medicis were therefore very important also for the painter himself, so much so that they are often portrayed within the works in reference to their social position and its consolidation. In fact, art is not only decorative but also performs the function of celebration.

“Florence is everything and everything else is nothing.” – Edward Burne-Jones

After the end of the Medici period led by Lorenzo Il Magnifico, Botticelli’s work also undergoes a change. Not only does he insert changes in the colors, from multiple accesses they seem to fade away, but he also chooses myths and mythological figures as the subject of his paintings. Among the many, the goddess Venus or Hermes portrayed respectively in Spring and The Birth of Venus, two of his most famous and iconic works. Fundamental to his art will be not only constant experimentation but also the workshop, a veritable forge of new talents that were created there, where there was always an exchange of ideas and points of view. By his contemporaries, therefore, Botticelli is considered as the painter who manages to achieve that much desired perfection, and the forerunner of a new model of portraiture.

Botticelli and Florence – The birth of beauty: Between harmony and perfection

What strikes you at first glance about Botticelli’s works is this delicate harmony in the shapes and colors of the subjects represented. His painting has always been characterized by particularly bright colors such as purple, red and above all by an indistinguishable touch, that is the metallic reflection resulting from a play of colors and light. The contents of his works are linked to this aesthetic perfection, and it is thus that precisely in the name of those values ​​the subjects of his paintings range from historical and political figures, divinities, mythological figures and finally – in the last part of his life – to Dante’s subjects of the Divine Comedy. In fact, this is how he evolves his pictorial technique, from the use of tempera to the preponderant presence of drawings and portraits, an element that has distinguished him in the artistic panorama of Florence. He was not the initiator but the forerunner of a typology, namely the one with the three-quarter bust; portraits from which it seems that the subject is stepping off the canvas.

His art was also influenced by philosophy, especially the Neoplatonic one in the words and thoughts of Marsilio Fucino, thanks to which he attempted to achieve perfection in his art. Botticelli was also innovative in the representation of women as Venus, portrayed naked and with harmonious shapes. An icon that has remained up to us and modernized several times, which allows us to no longer see the woman as a bearer of sin, but as an ideal of beauty and harmony. The documentary therefore invites the viewer to reflect on Sandro Botticelli’s artistic path – less so on the personal one of which there is little information – and he also does it with different techniques: the reenactment which sees actresses and actors who give life to the paintings and subjects of he; the music, sometimes with low tones, others with more solemn ones, which celebrates the artist and his consecration. Without forgetting the role of Florence which is exalted by the director with many shots from above and panoramic shots that recall its beauty centuries later. Everything is then narrated by the voice of the actress Jasmine Trinca who accompanies art enthusiasts but also the most curious on this journey.

Score: 7

At the cinema “Botticelli and Florence – The birth of beauty”, which will invite you to rediscover art