Friday, November 24, 2023

Art School --- Day 12/322

Walk: Presidio

Distance: 4 miles

Sandro Botticelli, Portrait of a Young Man Holding A Roundel, ca 1480, tempera on poplar panel

So, as Ciwt understands it, some art schools today encourage their young students to "Express Yourselves!" often without training in even the most rudimentary basics of making art.  

Not so with Sandro Botticelli whose father arranged for him to become an apprentice to Fra Fillipo Lippi (1406-1469), who operated the most sought after art workshop in Florence. Botticelli was either 14 or younger when he was accepted to this intensely competitive beginning position.  He didn't come and go; such a workshop operated like a boarding school.  With his small group of fellow apprentices, Botticelli lived, ate, slept, worked there.  And pure self expression by artists was a good 450 years in the future.  Botticelli was taught by acidulously copying his master in all drawing and painting techniques, beginning with just sky, then buildings and architecture, and, finally when he had mastered these painstaking skills, he was elevated to figure painting. 

This is how a renowned Renaissance artist born with extraordinary talent began learning how to express his Art.

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