Born in 1445 in the neighborhood of Ognissanti, Florence, he spent his entire life there except to go to Rome to paint in the Sistine Chapel (as well as, perhaps, an earlier foray to Hungary). Little is known of his youth. He was apprenticed to Fra Filippo Lippi.
Painting on his own from the 1470s, Botticelli did many portraits and became a favorite of the extended Medici family for whom he painted many of his most famous works—the Adoration of the Magi, the Birth of Venus, the Primavera (Spring), and Pallas and the Centaur (all at the Uffizii).
After the death of Lorenzo the Magnificent (1492), Botticelli underwent a personal crisis which paralleled Florence’s political crisis. His style changed and his themes were more often than not religious.
He died in 1510 already largely forgotten. Botticelli remained neglected until the late 19th century when new appreciation north of the Alps led by collectors and the Pre-Raphaelite painters, led to a reappraisal by art historians and to present-day acclaim.