MIA Botticelli and Renaissance Florence Exhibit Review

As someone who loves the Renaissance period, when I heard that the Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA) was hosting the Botticelli and Renaissance Florence exhibit from October through January  2023, I knew I had to make the trip into Minneapolis to see it. 

The Botticelli works came from the Uffizi gallery in Florence, Italy. According to a guide at MIA, the paintings rarely travel outside of the Uffizi gallery, because they are so rare, and fragile, but Minnesota was able to get its hands on some of those paintings. In fact, the gallery was able to get 15 of Botticelli’s artworks and 12 other paintings from other artists from the Renaissance Era. 

Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, more commonly known as Sandro Botticelli, was born in the year 1445 in Florence, Italy. He began his career painting frescoes for Florentine cathedrals. You probably know him best for The Birth of Venus and his works in the Sistine Chapel.

When I walked through MIA, my eyes were overwhelmed with beautiful works of art left and right; there were beautiful paintings that were absolutely mesmerizing, and sculptures that looked so real that it was like they dipped someone in plaster. There were so many artworks from all over the world, ranging from South America, to Europe, to Asia. It was amazing to see the different styles of art, to say the least. 

The best thing about going to MIA to see the Botticelli exhibit was the paintings; just being able to see the details of his works up-close was an unforgettable experience. You could see so many details in his artworks , from the brushstrokes to each line in the petals in the flowers that he painted, to the veins that pop out in the arms of his sculptures. My eyes ran back and forth searching for all the details and trying to figure out the meanings of the paintings. 

Some of the artworks included Minerva and the Centaur (which was painted specifically for the Medici family in 1481), Adoration of the Child with Angels (Madonna of the Roses), Saint Augustine in His Study, and more. Personally, my favorite piece was the beautifully painted Adoration of the Child and Angels (Madonna and Child with Saint John and Angels). The painting was so vibrant and colorful, from the bright candy apple reds to the lapis lazuli blue hues. The flowers are beautifully painted above the subjects head. The use of gold makes all the other beautiful colors used pop out even more. I find it highly interesting that he used a circular canvas instead of a square or rectangular canvas. It makes the art pop and brings it to life. 

Coming from someone who loves art (and is currently in an art class), going and seeing the exhibits was really nice because it shows me different ways to paint; I’ve learned how to use different shadowing techniques and to use different hues of colors to show the highlights and shadows, and for some of the people use a more pinkish skin tone or a more yellow toned skin. 

Not only did I enjoy the Botticelli exhibit, but the other exhibits were amazing, and I highly recommend going. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, then I would recommended at some point in your life to take a trip to Florence, Italy, and going to the Uffizi gallery to see the home of his works. It’s incredible how someone from such a long time ago still has an influence on art and people today.

If I had to rate my experience out of 10, I would give it a 9/10. I wish it lasted longer. I also wish they had a certain amount of openings per hour, because it was really crowded. I will say it was truly a work of art. I am so grateful that I was able to experience this amazing show.