Italian Renaissance
Artists: A - L
Italian Renaissance
Artists: M - Z
Italian Renaissance
Other News in Art Glossary of Terms
Abstract Art
Elegant Fireplace Screens Oil Painting
Sculpture Reproductions Fine Art Puzzles


Find out how and why you should buy your
oil painting reproductions from Fine Art Touch.

Botticelli Madonna and Child Painting Sold at Auction for a Paltry $7.5 Million

Botticelli Madonna and Child painting
Madonna and Child (detail)
Sandro Botticelli, ca. 1480

Click hereto see our
fine art reproductions.

Why am I bothered that a Botticelli Madonna and Child painting recently sold at auction for $7.5 million? That seems like a hefty price tag not just for a Botticelli Madonna and Child painting but for any painting, right? Wrong! What's wrong with this picture? I don't usually rant, but I think today I will.

When a Botticelli Madonna and Child painting goes for only $7.5 million while one of Jackson Pollock's drip paintings recently sold on the auction block at Christie's for $140 million, something is wrong with the world. Surely it's not just me who sees the inequity in this situation. An original Botticelli Madonna and Child painting ought to fetch a larger price tag than a Pollock--in any universe. Botticelli's works are still popular 500 years after his demise.  Who will remember Jackson Pollock as a master artist 500 years from now? Who knows?

Am I a big Botticelli fan?  Not really. So, why am I defending him? Well, it's because he deserves better than the crumbs that the misguided art world drops on the floor. I adore Italian Renaissance art, but Botticelli has never been one of my personal favorites. I hesitate to use this term, but his early images are sweet, and I don't find his Christ Child model particularly appealing. And then, his heads are sometimes put on their bodies at an odd angle. Botticelli's Madonna model for this Madonna and Child painting was obviously his favorite, the beautiful Simonetta Vespucci, whose face appeared again and again in his works, even nine years after her death when Botticelli painted the Birth of Venus.

I much prefer the power and awe-inspiring images of the mature works of Michelangelo Raphael, and Titian, but this Botticelli Madonna and Child painting is a stunning work by a renowned master. Apparently contemporary collectors don't share my aesthetic sensibilities. One of Christie's Old Masters directors was quoted after the auction as saying, "We are extremely pleased with the results of this evening's sale..." In his place I would have cried. There are a number of modern and contemporary artists I admire, but auctions that bring in $140 million for a drip painting bring to mind the words of P. T. Barnum who said, "A sucker is born every minute."

Brenda Harness, Art Historian

To see other articles on Botticelli, click here.

Search Query We accept Paypal

Welcome !

 We respect your privacy and  will never sell your personal information.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

Buy great
art books
at Amazon!