Andrea del Sarto | Eclipsed by Renaissance
Renaissance painter Andrea del Sarto (1486-1530) spent most
of his life in his home town of Florence, Italy, he
probably briefly visited briefly both France to work and
Rome to absorb the stylistic achievements of great masters
and Michelangelo who
had already left Florence. Along with Fra
Bartolommeo, Andrea del Sarto became one of the
premier painters in his home town. His name 'del sarto' comes
from the profession of his father who worked as a tailor.
Madonna of the
Andrea del Sarto
1517, oil on wood, 208 x 178 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence,
hereto see our fine art
Andrea del Sarto was primarily a fresco
painter, and his work is characterized by the relaxed and
elegant style of Raphael and Fra Bartolommeo whom he emulated.
Del Sarto's most famous work is his masterpiece of 1517,
the altarpiece of the Madonna of the Harpies, now in
the Uffizi in Florence. Del Sarto also executed
frescoes in the Florentine churches of SS. Annunziata for the
Servite religious order, and for the Chiostro dello
Scalzo where he created a monochromatic cycle based on the
life of Saint John the Baptist.
del Sarto was a popular artist.
Andrea del Sarto was in popular demand. So much so that
in 1519 Francis I of France commanded del Sarto to appear
at his court. Francis gave Andrea money and sent him to
purchase art in Italy. Del Sarto simply returned to Florence
and failed to follow through with his assigned task, instead
keeping the money for himself. For the refectory of San
Salvi convent near Florence, Andrea del
Sarto executed his final major fresco work of the Last
Most of the information we have about Andrea del Sarto comes
from his pupil
Giorgio Vasari who describes him in a less than flattering
light personally, but lauds his painting as "flawless".
Vasari's account has been discredited, however. Although a
great master in his own right, a superior draughtsman and
colorist, Andrea del Sarto was overshadowed by Renaissance
giants like Raphael and Michelangelo. Some of his works display
a hint of Mannerism,
something which is picked up by his famous pupils Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino,
and Cecchino del Salviati.
Brenda Harness, Art Historian