Volume 3, Number 3
New SegPlayPC™ Patterns
There's two new SegPlayPC™ pattern collections available this month.
The first set is Easter Eggcitement. Easter is a major Christian religious festival celebrating Jesus's resurrection from the dead. Many of the holiday's cultural elements are celebrated by Christians and non-Christians around the world. These elements include the Easter bunny, coloring Easter eggs, and family meals. Our Easter pattern collection includes many fun illustrations of the Easter holiday including bunnies, colored eggs, candles, and flowers.
The second new SegPlayPC™ set available this month is Sandro Botticelli - Florentine Artist.
Sandro Botticelli (1445 - 1510) was an Italian painter of the Florentine school during the early part of the Renaissance. Several of his works are considered to be among the most recognized masterpieces of florentine art. He developed a highly personalized style taking the linear approach to new levels of sophistication.
Sandro Botticelli - Florentine Artist
Our new SegPlay™ version based on Adobe's Flash technology has been released to a number of online game sites. You can check it out here on the Kongregate web site. We hope it have it live shortly on the Segmation web site as soon as we fix a few quirks with it.
We're still in the laborious process on redesigning our website a bit to make it easier to navigate. Like an overstuffed closet, we've added a bunch of pages over the past 7 years and need to do a bit of cleaning up. If you'd like to help comment on the new web design before we make it live, drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
We're always looking for more appealing art pieces for our SegPlay™ online paint by number collection. If you are an aspiring artist and am interested in setting up a free personal category on SegPlay to showcase some of your work in our fun paint by number world, drop us an email email@example.com
We hope you enjoyed reading this newsletter. Please feel free to pass it on to a friend or colleague. If you have any comments or suggestions about this newsletter, please drop us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Mark & Beth
Artist Of The Month: Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli - Florentine Artist
Sandro Botticelli, real name Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi (b. March 1, 1445 d. May 17, 1510), was a Florentine painter of the early Renaissance and one of the leading artists of his time.
Botticelli's talent was soon recognized and by 1470 he had his own workshop. In 1472 he joined the local painters' guild. He painted small religious works until 1474, when he received a commission to paint the monumental St. Sebastian for the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Florence.
His work was in favor with members of the Medici clan, who were the ruling family of Florence, and in 1475 he painted the Adoration of the Magi in which he included portraits of some Medici family members. The Medicis commissioned many works from Botticelli, paying him handsomely. Sandro Botticelli was deeply influenced by the artists and intellectuals who surrounded Lorenzo di Medici and by their ideas, which aimed to bring together classical and Christian beliefs. This influence can be seen in Botticelli's two most famous works, Primavera and Birth of Venus, both commissions for the Medici palaces.
Botticelli's reputation as a painter was by now well established and in 1481 he was one of four Florentine artists commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV to paint a series of frescoes for the Sistine Chapel in Rome. He painted three large panels: the Youth of Moses, the Punishment of the Sons of Corah, and the Temptation of Christ. But the works were considered to be only partially successful and he returned to Florence in late 1482 where he went back to working for the Medicis until the death of Lorenzo in 1492. During this period he illustrated an edition of Dante's Inferno and wrote a commentary for it. In 1491 Botticelli was asked to be a part of the committee that decided on the facade of the Duomo (the cathedral of Florence) and in 1504 he was on the committee that decided where Michelangelo's David should be situated.
After the death of Lorenzo di Medici, Botticelli came under the influence of the radical Dominican monk Savonarola, who preached the Apocalypse and the virtues of abandoning worldly goods. As a result, it is rumored that Botticelli destroyed many of his own works and his style of this period shows a drastic change. He began to include heavy religious symbolism and cryptic inscriptions in Greek into his works to explain his mystic vision.
Savonarola was eventually burned at the stake in the main square of Florence, but Botticelli remained in the city and continued to work. But by 1502 he was receiving few commissions; his style was no longer in fashion and newer artists, such as Raphael, Leonardo and Michelangelo were becoming immensely popular. In addition, in the same year he was accused of sodomy. The accusation stated "Botticelli keeps a boy", but the charges were dropped. A copy of the charge still exists in the Florentine Archives. Botticelli never married, saying the thought gave him nightmares.
Like his early life, almost nothing is known about Botticelli's final years. He died in Florence, where he had lived all his life, at the age of 65. After his death, his work fell into oblivion for the next 400 years until he was rediscovered in the 19th century by artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement in England.
You can find a large collection of Botticelli patterns to use with SegPlayPC™  here.
Art in the News:
Prado Museum Claims Goya's Colossus not Painted by the Master
Goya's famous painting The Colossus hanging in the Prado museum in Madrid was probably not painted by Goya but by an apprentice, says the museum.
The painting of a huge naked male figure dominating his surroundings has been on exhibition in the museum since 1931, but a restoration in 1992 cast doubts on the painting's authorship. "The painting shows poorer technique than Goya's and bears a signature which may belong to Asensio Julia, one of Goya's apprentices" says Manuel Mena, head of Goya restoration at the Prado.
Mena believes the painting was produced during the Napoleonic invasion of Spain in the early 1800s.
Local Residents Asked to Identify Painting's Mystery Location
A painting by Joseph Clayton Bentley recently purchased by the Derbyshire Council in the United Kingdom is the subject of an appeal to local residents. The watercolor, entitled "On the Derwent", was painted in 1842 and shows fishermen in boats on the River Derwent near a mill and thatched cottage.
But nobody can identify exactly where the scene was painted. "It's a lovely painting, very evocative of the time and shows how the industry was developing along the river said a local Councilor. The mills are a massive part of Derbyshire's heritage. If anyone can identify the exact location, we'd love to hear from them."
Outside the Lines
Art Trivia – The Renaissance
Botticelli's elder brother was known as "Il Botticello", meaning the little barrel in Italian and that's how the famous painter got his name.
High heeled shoes were invented by Leonardo da Vinci
When he was still a child, Leonardo da Vinci played a trick on his father by drawing a lifelike monster. It was so lifelike that Leonardo's father thought it was real. When Leonardo showed his father that it was just a drawing, his father was so impressed by his son's talent that he apprenticed him to Verocchio, the most famous painter in Florence.
In Michelangelo's famous painting of David and Goliath, David is shown holding his sling in his left hand. That's because Michelangelo himself was left handed.