Italian Renaissance painting is the painting of the period beginning in the late 13th century and flourishing from the early 15th to late 16th centuries, occurring in the Italian peninsula, which was at that time divided into many political areas. The painters of Renaissance Italy, although often attached to particular courts and with loyalties to particular towns, nonetheless wandered the length and breadth of Italy, often occupying a diplomatic status and disseminating both artistic and philosophical ideas.
The city that is renowned as the birthplace of the Renaissance and in particular, Renaissance painting, is Florence. A detailed background is given in the companion articles Renaissance and Renaissance architecture.
Italian Renaissance painting can be divided into four periods: the Proto-Renaissance (1300–1400), the Early Renaissance (1400–1475), the High Renaissance (1475–1525), and Mannerism (1525–1600). These dates are approximations rather than specific points because the lives of individual artists and their personal styles overlapped the different periods.
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli (Italian: [ˈsandro bottiˈtʃɛlli]; c. 1445 – May 17, 1510), was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine school under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici, a movement that Giorgio Vasari would characterize less than a hundred years later as a "golden age", a thought, suitably enough, he expressed at the head of his Vita of Botticelli. Botticelli's posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting. Among his best known works are The Birth of Venus and Primavera.