Sandro Botticelli, Sacra Conversazione

Table of Contents:

Sandro Botticelli

Sacra Conversazione (1470-72)

Six saints gather around the Virgin and Child, who are seated on a throne. Botticelli has demonstrated his understanding of space and perspective by accurately placing these figures in relation to one another in a closed architectural space. From left to right, the figures in the foreground represent the Magdalen, St. Cosmas, St. Damian, and St. Catherine. John the Baptist and St. Francis appear in the background gazing at the child, who holds his hand up in blessing.

Cosmas and Damian represent portraits of the patrons, likely two brothers, who commissioned this piece. Saints from various periods have gathered in a “Sacra Conversazione” or “Sacred Conversation” regarding the newborn Christ Child.


Legouix, Susan. Botticelli. London: Chaucer Press, 2004. pg. 37.

Lightbown, Ronald. Sandro Botticelli: Life and Work (vol. 1). Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978. Pg.  35.