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Botticelli, The Annunciation, 1481
A Rare Masterpiece from the Uffizi Gallery, Florence

September 17, 2013-January 11, 2014
Location: Aaron and Blima Shickman Old Masters Galleries
Artist: Sandro Botticelli
Curator: Shlomit Steinberg
Media: painting

The Italian painter, Sandro Botticelli, (born Alessandro di Moriano Filipepi, 1445-1510), was one of the outstanding geniuses in the history of Renaissance painting. He began his training under Fra Filippo and later worked for a time with Leonardo da Vinci (who criticized his work) at Verrocchio's workshop. He was influenced by Piero Pollaiuolo around 1470. His understanding of perspective and foreshortening, of architectural design and of anatomy, were extensive.

The San Martino Annunciation

April-May, 1481Fresco, 243 x 550 cmGalleria degli Uffizi, Florence

This fresco originally hung over the entrance of San Martino della Scala, a hospital for those stricken with the plague. It was probably erected in gratitude for the end of the bout of plague which had been raging in Florence since 1478. Due to renovations in the hospital structure during the 17th century the fresco suffered considerable damage. It was taken down in 1920 and moved to the Uffizi.

This exquisite work of art, the first Botticelli ever to be exhibited at the Israel Museum, is a rare example of a composition in linear perspective for liturgical purpose as the lines sum up at the head of the angel on the right pointing to his importance as bearer of important news.

The concept for bringing such a rare masterpiece by one of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance and exhibiting it in Jerusalem was conceived mutually by the Museum and the Italy-Israel Foundation for Culture and the Arts, and its Director General Dr. Simonetta Della Seta are active partners in this project.  This display of the rare Botticelli fresco, meant as an expression of homage to the State of Israel's 65th birthday this year, inaugurates a project that will bring to the IMJ four Italian masterworks by Renaissance and Baroques Painters over the coming two years.

Reproduced with the permission of Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali / Alinari Archives, Florence