Botticelli – Pentecost

Pentecost – it seems so strange celebrating Pentecost and the giving of the Holy Spirit with all our churches closed. Anyway we enjoyed a beautiful service filmed in our local church of St Mary Magdalene, in Adlestrop, complete with a special appearance from Buster the Adlestrop cat. It was a triumph for those who produced it.

PentecostBuster the cat, adlestrop, apostles, Birmingham, botticelli
Sandro Botticelli, Pentecost, Oli on canvas, 221cm x 228cm, c1495-1505

Botticelli painted a very interesting Pentecost view, a copy of which is in Birmingham City Art Gallery. Interesting because my book of all Botticelli’s works list  it as being in Birmingham and Greenville (South Carolina) but does not confirm which is the copy. I have declared the Birmingham version as the copy as my book is at great pains to describe the attribution of the Greenville painting. It is not an autograph Botticelli but does have some very redeeming features. My book describes it as Botticelli with extensive collaboration. That probably means the great Florentine had very little to do with the final work!

The other interesting thing about this painting is that it looks like it should have been a Tondo. Botticelli painted many of these circular paintings, especially his numerous Madonna’s

Lovers of Botticelli (Mark) will enjoy this lovely depiction of all the apostles being struck by the spirit and speaking in different tongues, being a little unusual. There is suggestion that there is a missing top half showing Christ and God blessing the Spirit. Plenty to research here!

Pentecost, Church, botticelli, adlestrop

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