Detail, The birth of Venus, c 1484, Tempera on wood.  Ufizzi Gallery Florence

Detail, Primavera, c 1482, Grease tempera on wood.  Ufizzi Gallery Florence

Giuliano de' Medici, 1478, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Scan courtesy of the Art Renewal Center

This is a unique portrait for the Florence of it's time. It was very unusual for portraits to be composed with a veiw from or to the outside landscape. Botticelli has painted Giuliano in front of an open door, which in Florentine humanistic symbolism meaning death or the passage from life to the hereafter. It has been dated to 1478 as it is believed that Lorenzo commissioned the work immediately after Giuliano's assassination. Even more precisely, this puts that painting to the second half of May 1478, making it the most accurately dated Botticelli work known.