Alessandro (Sandro) Botticelli - (1444 - 1512) was born in Florence, the fourth son of Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, a tanner. Alessandros nickname was derived from the one given to his eldest brother Giovanni, who, because of his corpulence, was called Botticello (little barrel). It is believed that Botticelli was apprenticed as a goldsmith before being sent, probably in the beginning of the 1460s, to Fra Filippo Lippi in order to study painting. Since 1470, Botticelli ran his own workshop in Florence and, in 1472, he became a member of the St. Lukes Guild. His early works were mostly small religious pieces.