There are two Botticelli shows in London, Botticelli Reimagined at the V&A and Botticelli and Treasures from the Hamilton Collection at the Courtauld Gallery.
|Erwin Blumenfeld, Advertisement from Picture Post, 1969|
Sandro Botticelli was born in 1445 in Florence and his best known works, Primavera and The Birth of Venus, are both held by the Uffizi in his hometown and unfortunately don’t travel, but the V&A show, the largest exhibition of Botticelli paintings and drawings ever held in the UK, does have lots of other treasures. Botticelli is, it seems, current and is with us even away from these exhibitions. In London we are able to see no less than nine of his paintings for free on a regular basis at the National Gallery including Venus and Mars and one of my favourites, Portrait of a Young Man (a different painting from the one of the same name at the V&A). I am a little bit obsessed by a series of his paintings, which I have only seen in reproduction, held by the Prado in Madrid and sadly not at the V&A – widescreen ratio panels with a cross sectioned storyboard showing the grizzly tale of Nastagio degli Onesti, which involves a girl being hunted by dogs – they are flatly painted with a hint of naivety and I love looking at them.