Botticelli Reimagined: London exhibition explores painter's influence

Thu Mar 3, 2016 9:49am EST
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LONDON (Reuters) - An exhibition dedicated to Sandro Botticelli opens in London this week, looking at how the 15th century Italian painter influenced artists and designers though the ages.

"Botticelli Reimagined" is the largest exhibition of Botticelli paintings and drawings ever held in Britain, according to London's Victoria & Albert (V&A) museum.

The display features more than 50 Botticelli works and explores how others have reinterpreted the Florentine painter's art, from the Pre-Raphaelites to today.

Botticelli (1445-1510) is famed today for his Venus paintings, particularly "The Birth of Venus", in which the blonde, nude goddess stands on a scallop shell. However his work was initially forgotten after his death.

"Botticelli fell, sank from sight for nearly 300 years. In the early 19th century he was rediscovered. The Pre-Raphaelites of course fetishised him," Mark Evans, senior curator of paintings at the V&A, said.

"In the era of abstraction, Botticelli again receded into the shadows but, with pop art, he came out fighting and of course he's now one of the most celebrated global phenomena in art."

The V&A show is divided into three sections.

"Global, Modern, Contemporary" looks at the influence of "The Birth of Venus" - which remains in Florence's Uffizi Gallery - and features works by artists Andy Warhol and Yin Xin, photographer David LaChapelle and outfits by Italian designer brand Dolce & Gabbana.

"Rediscovery" explores Botticelli's influence on the Pre-Raphaelites in the mid-19th century with works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris among others.   Continued...

A museum employee views "Details of Renaissance Paintings (Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482)" by Andy Warhol with a Dolce & Gabbana dress seen in the foreground at the Victoria and Albert museum in London, Britain, March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville