“Signor Botticelli,” she said to him. “This is Caterina. She is seven years old and enjoys drawing and I thought you might like to show her your fresco.”
“What a lovely child! I would be most happy to show her.” He pointed out the faces of the people he had included in the painting. “These are the Medicis, my patrons, who trace their ancestry to the Magi. Here is Cosimo, the father of Florence, his son Piero, and his grandsons Lorenzo and Giuliano, as they were when they were children, all greeting the newborn Child.”
In the fresco, I noticed a man with wheat colored hair among the group gathered around the Magi as they approached the Holy Child. He seemed to be looking out at me from the painting.
“Signor Botticelli,” I said pointing to the man in the crowd, “…is that you?”
His eyebrows lifted. “Indeed it is. You have very sharp eyes. Perhaps it is vanity, but I wanted to be included among the august crowd of notable Florentines…
” his voice lowered so only I could hear "…none of whom were actally there at the birth of Our Lord.”