Calumny Of Apelles - – (Sandro Botticelli) Previous Next


Topic: Insects

Date: 1494

Size: 62 x 91 cm

Museum: Uffizi (Florence, Italy)

The Calumny of Apelles is a panel painting in tempera by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli. Based on the description of an ancient lost painting by Apelles, the work was completed in about 1494–95, and is now in the Uffizi, Florence. The content of Apelles' painting, as described by Lucian, became popular in Renaissance Italy, and Botticelli was neither the first nor last Italian Renaissance artist to depict it. Leon Battista Alberti had praised it and recommended it as a subject for artists to recreate in his highly influential De pictura of 1435, and there were four translations of Lucian's Greek into Latin or Italian during the 15th century. A number of Botticelli's secular works show an interest in recreating some of the lost glories of Ancient Greek painting, which are recorded in classical literature, especially the ekphrasis, a popular literary genre consisting of the description of a painting, which had an obvious utility before reproductions were widespread. His Mars and Venus, painted some ten years earlier, is generally agreed to borrow part of its composition, the infant satyrs playing with Mars' armour, from another ekphrasis by Lucian, but no other Botticelli painting is clearly an attempt to recreate an ancient composition almost in full.

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