Italian painters: Andrea del Sarto

Italian painters: Andrea del Sarto

This Florentine painter was born in 1486 and became famous during High Renaissance and early Mannerism. His surname, “del Sarto” (Tailor’s) comes to his father’s profession: he was in fact son of a tailor. After struggling with the malady he died alone on 22nd January 1531. Though his love life was sad and disordered, he did many portraits of his wife, who is often represented as the Madonna.  Despite his brief career, he produced a large number of frescoes and easel pictures.

Probably the most known of his painting is the Madonna of the Harpies (Madonna delle Arpie), where the Virgin and the child standing on a pedestal, flanked by angels and two saints. It was an altarpieced which was finished in 1517 for the convent of San Francesco dei Macci and nowadays it is conserved in a privilege position at the Uffizi gallery. Because of its stable lines (the triangle of the Madonna and the saints) the figures’ scheme has been copied several times. This masterpiece is consider one of the highest contribution to Renaissance art.

He is also known for his self portraits: one of them is shown at the National Gallery of London, and you can see many different one of course here in Florence at the gallery of Pitti Palace.

Would you like to know something more about this painter? Try our Art History courses, held by art history experts!