Andrea del Sarto

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Sarto, Andrea del

Sarto, Andrea del (ändrĕˈä dĕl särˈtō), 1486–1531, Florentine painter of the High Renaissance. He painted chiefly religious subjects. In 1509 he was commissioned by the Servites to decorate their Cloisters of the Annunziata in Florence. His five frescoes there, illustrating the life of St. Philip, won him the title “the faultless painter.” Also in this court are Nativity of the Virgin, Procession of the Magi, and a lunette, Madonna del Sacco. His notable scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist in monotone are in the Cloisters of the Scalzo, Florence, and the Last Supper is in the refectory of the Convent of San Salvi. His oils include two Annunciations, Deposition from the Cross, two Assumptions, Madonna in Glory (Pitti Palace, Florence); Madonna of the Harpies (Uffizi); Holy Family and Charity (Louvre); Holy Family (Metropolitan Mus.); Madonna and Child with St. John (National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.); and others in London and Madrid. His paintings consistently exemplify the High Renaissance ideal. Because of the extreme subtlety of his technique, his works tend not to reproduce well in photographs. Toward the end of his career, his representations tended toward mannerism. He was the teacher of the great mannerist Pontormo.


See studies by S. J. Freedberg (2 vol., 1963) and J. Shearman (2 vol., 1965).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Andrea del Sarto


(real name, Andrea del d’Agnolo). Born July 16, 1486, in Florence; died there Sept. 28 (or 29), 1530. Italian painter.

Andrea del Sarto studied under Piero di Cosimo and was influenced by Leonardo da Vinci, Fra Bartolommeo, and Michelangelo. In 1518–19 he painted in Paris. His works in Florence include frescoes for the cloister of the Church of Santissima Annunziata (1510–15), for the Scalzi Monastery (1515–26), and the San Salvi Monastery (late 1520’s). Other works by Andrea are Madonna of the Harpies (1517, Uffizi Gallery, Florence), Madonna and Child With St. Catherine, St. Elizabeth, and John the Baptist (1519, Hermitage, Leningrad) and Portrait of a Sculptor (National Gallery, London).

Andrea’s paintings are marked by clearly spaced composition based on a complex balancing of spatial elements. In many respects, the gentle, poetic spirituality of Andrea’s works was derived from chiaroscuro that united bright and lush fields of color. At the same time, his paintings are distinguished by a certain abstract quality in the rendering of figures and by a tendency to dogmatize the artistic principles of the High Renaissance.


Eliasberg, N. E. Andrea del’ Sarto. [Moscow, 1973.]
Shearman, J. Andrea del Sarto, vols. 1–2. Oxford, 1965.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

del Sarto, Andrea

cuckolded Florentine painter; protagonist of Browning’s poem. [Art Hist.: Walsh Modern, 19–20; Br. Lit.: “Andrea del Sarto” in Norton, 778–783]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.