Sandro Botticelli And Simonetta Vespucci In Renaissance Florence, Italy Sandro Botticelli and Simonetta Vespucci depend upon one another for their fame in many respects. The Genoan beauty who came to Florence as a teenager was the subject of many of Botticelli's paintings, including his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus. Had there been no Simonetta Botticelli might have ended up with lesser fame as did Ghirlandaio, his contemporary. Likewise, if not for Sandro Botticelli Simonetta might have been only a footnote in the Medici era history of Florence. Both Medici brothers, Lorenzo and Giuliano, idolized the wife of Marco Vespucci when she came south from Genoa at the age of sixteen. Her fame began when Giuliano commissioned Sandro Botticelli to paint a banner that he carried in a tournament that was held in the Piazza Santa Croce in 1476.