Description of the painting Sandro Botticelli “The Temptation of Christ”

Description of the painting Sandro Botticelli “The Temptation of Christ”

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The Temptation of Christ, or in another way the Temptations of Christ (Tentazione di Cristo in Italian) is a fresco made by the great Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli. The size of the painting is 345.5 by 555 cm. It was painted between 1481 and 1482 and adorned the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican.

In 1481, Pope Sixtus IV invited Botticelli, as well as other prominent Florentine and Umbrian artists such as Pietro Perugino, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli, later Luca Signorelli and Bartolomeo della Gatta were added to them. They were entrusted with the task of making murals on the walls of the Sistine Chapel.

It was supposed to draw two walls facing each other, a comparison of the lives of Moses and Christ. In order to do the work, the artists had to use the same scale of sizes, the same rhythmic structure and landscape representation, a single chromatic range with gold decorations that made the paintings shine with the light of torches and candles.

Although Giorgio Vasari claimed that Sandro Botticelli painted the entire set of frescoes, historians are convinced that he wrote only three stories. In addition, it is believed that he provided sketches for eleven stories and actively helped other artists to write many others.

Compositions of frescoes are complex; they include neoplatonic rethinking of classical themes in Christian iconography. The figures painted by Botticelli are sculptural. Since this was intended to decorate papal possessions, one would think that many of the depicted are prelates and relatives of the pope, since the faces do not follow the same model, they are individualized portraits.

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