Mention Love or Beauty, and often the images that spring to mind are those of Sandro Botticelli’s great trinity of Venus paintings: Primavera, The Birth of Venus, Venus and Mars. That serene and lovely face of Venus has become the very icon of the Florentine Renaissance.

It is astonishing that some of the greatest artistic talents of all time were born in the same city in the same century. At the beginning of the period we have Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Donatello and Ghiberti; at the end, Leonardo and Michelangelo; and in the lull between these two great ages of giants came Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo ...


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