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Artists in the Spotlight: Andrea del Sarto
Portrait von Andrea del Sarto Andrea del Sarto's real name was Andrea d'Angelo di Francesco. His epithet derives from the profession of his father, who was a tailor. Del Sarto was remarkably small in height, which is why his friends liked to call him Andreino. Del Sarto originally started training as a goldsmith, but his drawing skills caught the attention of a local painter, who initially taught him and later referred him to Piero di Cosimo . In his work, del Sarto was based less on his master than on Raphael , Leonardo da Vinci and Fra Bartolommeo , whose different styles he combined inimitably. He achieved a high reputation during his lifetime and was even given the nickname Andrea sensa errori, which means the flawless Andrea. After his death, however, he was sidelined, mainly because other great masters of his time such as da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo towered over him artistically. Del Sarto married Lucrezia del Fede at the age of around 31, who modeled him several times and often served as a model for his Madonna paintings. Lucrezia was the wealthy widow of a hatter. The marriage therefore brought some financial benefits to del Sarto. It is therefore not surprising that del Sarto showed only moderate zeal. He painted when it suited him and the payment was rather secondary for him. His pupil and later biographer Vasari, who was introduced to him by Michelangelo, complained about this fact. Vasari attested a high level of talent to del Sarto, but his teacher lacked the fiery ambition and divine inspiration that would make a great artist. His opinion of del Sarto's wife was even less. He described her as jealous, treacherous, and quarrelsome. Apart from two short sections, del Sarto spent his entire life in Florence. Around 1518 the French court became aware of the talent of del Sarto and King Francois I invited the painter to Fontainbleau. Del Sarto accepted the invitation and went to Paris without his wife, but with one of his students Andrea Squarzzella. However, the stay was short. Some assume that del Sarto did not see himself as a court artist and felt mentally challenged. Because in his short time at the court, he didn't do a single job. According to Vasari, however, Lucrezia should have ordered her husband back to Florence. Del Sarto was allowed to return with the king's permission, but should be back at court as soon as possible. The king also gave del Sarto money to purchase some paintings in Italy for his art collection. But del Sarto never returned and instead used the king's money to buy a house in Florence. Between 1520 and his death in 1530, he only worked there until he finally contracted bubonic plague and died.

The Sacrifice of Isaac, c. 1527. Polyptych from Vallombrosa Abbey, detail of the right hand side showing Saint John the Baptist and another Saint, 1528  (detail of 50405) Madonna hand with book Studies for the Last Supper Portrait of a young man Dama col Studies on the figure of Christ Polyptych from Vallombrosa Abbey, detail of the left hand side showing Archangel Michael and Saint Benedict, 1528  (detail of 50405) Ladies in Waiting, detail from the Birth of the Virgin Madonna del Sacco, 1525 Ladies in Waiting, from the Birth of the Virgin  (detail) Deposition with Virgin Mary and Saints, 1523-24 The Arrival of the Magi  The Annunciation, 1528 (tempera on panel) The Assumption of Mary (Maria Himmelfahrt) (altarpiece) Study of a man suspended by his right leg (chalk on paper) St. Jacob, c.1524-29 Portrait of a seated young woman, c.1525-30 (red chalk on paper) Charity, 1518-19 Madonna and Child, St. John and two Angels Bed Scene, from the Birth of the Virgin  (detail) Madonna in Glory with Four Saints (panel)
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