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 Simonetta <I>Cattaneo</I> Vespucci

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Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci

  • Birth 1453 Genoa, Città Metropolitana di Genova, Liguria, Italy
  • Death 26 Apr 1476 Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
  • Burial Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy
  • Memorial ID 31839159

Artist's Model, Folk Figure. Called "La bella Simonetta, she was a celebrated beauty who served as a model for the leading painters of her day, most notably Sandro Botticelli. Born to a noble family she married Marco Vespucci at around 15 and thru his family met Botticelli, the great artist painting several portraits of her and making her the central figure in "The Birth of Venus" (1486) and "Primavera" (1482). Simonetta was portrayed by others, with Pierro di Cosmo depicting her as Cleopatra with the asp around her neck. According to legend she was desired by a number of the leading noblemen of Florence including the Medici brothers; in 1475 a jousting tournament was held with her as the "prize", with Giuliano de Medici winning while carrying a banner depicting her which had been painted by Botticelli. (As to whether Giuliano actually 'took possession', the facts are lost in the mists of time). When Simonetta died of tuberculosis she was buried with the Vespucci family; further legend states that Botticelli was in love with her and whatever the truth of this when he died in 1510 he was buried at her feet.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 30 Nov 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 31839159
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Simonetta Cattaneo Vespucci (1453–26 Apr 1476), Find A Grave Memorial no. 31839159, citing Chiesa di San Salvatore di Ognissanti, Florence, Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Toscana, Italy ; Maintained by Find A Grave .