Throughout his lifetime, Botticelli was held in high esteem and enjoyed the patronage of the powerful Medici court, the ruling family of Florence. The Medici interests in Platonic philosophy and Classical themes provided an opportunity for Botticelli to explore mythological subjects as well as traditional religious themes. The artist's innovative interpretations of both religious and mythological subjects reflect a level of sophistication that far exceeded his peers.
One of Botticelli's most innovative contributions was depicting his subjects, whether religious or mythological, in the contemporary costume of the Florentine court. His famed Birth of Venus, defined by the artist's expressive, lyrical line, set the standard for Renaissance beauty. While overshadowed by Leonardo and Michelangelo, Botticelli is credited with many of the stylistic innovations that presage the startling developments of the High Renaissance.
After the Renaissance, Botticelli's reputation languished until his work was rediscovered in the late 19th century. It has since enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and has claimed a prominent place in museums worldwide.