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The rebirth of Botticelli

Above: Andy Warhol's Pop art version of Botticelli's Birth of Venus - Details of Renaissance Paintings, 1984

A flash of red auburn hair captures our eye as we take in the Rediscovery section of Botticelli Reimagined - the Pre-Raphaelites response to the artistic legacy of Sandro Botticelli. Botticelli's romantic aesthetic is captured in Dante Gabriel Rossetti's La Ghirlandata (1873), in Edward Burne-Jones' The Mill: Girls Dancing to Music by a River (1870-82) and William Morris' The Orchard (1890) tapestry. 

Detail from La Ghirlandata, 1873 by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Left and right: The Day Dream by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1880

On the left is the romantic watercolour called Evening, 1870, and right is called Luna, oil on canvas, 1872-5 - both by Edward Burne-Jones (1833-98)

Left: William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones teamed up for the frontispiece to Morris's medieval fantasy novel 'The Wood beyond the World'. Right: Detail from The Renaissance of Venus, 1877 by Walter CraneDetail from The Renaissance of Venus, 1877 by Walter Crane

Inspiration can come from many places, though sometimes we stumble upon a gem such as this exhibition, where colour, myths and legends are curated into EJS perfection! 

The V & A's exhibit is split into three major sections. The first is Global, Modern, Contemporary where the influence from The Birth of Venus is evident in the Andy Warhol's Details of Renaissance Paintings (Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482)(1984) and the composition for David LaChapelle's Rebirth of Venus (2009). Surrealist René Margritte describes his painting Le bouquet tout fait (1957) as 'Primavera by Botticelli on a man with a bowler hat seen from behind'. When he saw the original Primavera painting he said, 'It's not bad, but it's better on a postcard'. I'm afraid we'd have to disagree with you there René! 

The Rediscovery section showcases the Pre-Raphaelite responses during the mid-19th century, and finally Botticelli in his Own Time, featuring work by his workshop and the artist himself. Highlights include the exquisitely detailed Pallas and the Centaur (1482) which is in London for the first time.  

Rebirth of Venus, 2009 by David LaChapelle (c) David LaChapelle

"Where colour, myths and legends are curated into EJS perfection!"

Le bouquet tout fait (The ready-made bouquet), 1956 by René Magritte (1898 - 1967)

Salvador Dali's Declaration of the Independence of the Imagination and the Rights of Man to his own Madness, 1939. The figure is Venus with a fish head.

Art on display include an array of paintings, fashion, film, drawing, photography, tapestry, sculpture and print. A real treat for the renaissance lover like us! 

Left: Evening dress, 1938, by Elsa Schiaparelli (1890 - 1973) Right: Dolce and Gabbana's trouser suit, Spring / Summer 1993. 

Discover the exhibition for yourself and feed your inspiration.

Botticelli Reimagined

5 March - 3 July 2016

Tickets: £15 adults

Open: 10am - 5:45pm daily (til 10pm Fridays)


Victoria and Albert Museum

Cromwell Road



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