Botticelli’s frieze of artists

A section from Botticelli’s Uffizi Adoration of the Magi that depicts a lineup of artists.

A couple of months ago I pointed out here that Sandro Botticelli’s Uffizi version of the Adoration of the Magi could not have been completed before 1480 and perhaps even 1481.

Since then, after further study of the iconography, I can say the painting was not finished until at least 1482, after Botticelli had returned from Rome where he had spent several months as part of a team of Florentine artists commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV to frescoe the walls of the Sistine Chapel.

Evidence for this claim is the line of figures Botticelli has ‘frescoed’ against the extended wall on the right side of the painting. Most of the men represent the main artists involved in the Sistine Chapel project, and some of the iconography in the group is linked to parts of the frescoed panels.

The Trials of Moses, one of the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel painted by Sandro Botticelli.

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