Sandro Botticelli

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Sandro Botticelli, Fortitude



167 X 87 cm

Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi


The Allegory of Fortitude commission was Botticelli’s first commission. The commercial courts originally asked Peiro del Pollaiuolo, a well known Florentine painter, to do seven paintings for the court, but he could not keep up with the timetable. Botticelli was then asked by the Commercial Courts in Florence to create two of seven works that would cover the wall in the back court on top of where each magistrate would sit. In reality, he only finished one of the works while Peiro completed the remaining six. Botticelli’s painting contained refined detail and color compared to the works that Peiro finished. He was clearly trying to out do the man who had been given the bulk of the project.

Each painting was about one of the Virtues including three Christian values; Faith, Hope and Charity, and four worldly values; Temperance, Prudence, Fortitude and Justice. These Virtues were to remind the court of good, fair and moral judgment. Botticelli was commissioned to do Fortitude that represents the qualities strength, resilience and courage.

These paintings were highly publicized and visible to the public. This was Botticelli’s first opportunity to show his work to the people. He was highly recognized for his work and this painting ended up launching his career and defining him as an important artist of his time.




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