Andrea del Sarto
b.July 16, 1486, Florence
d.Sept. 28, 1530, Florence
Italian Andrea del Sarto Galleries
Andrea del Sarto (1486 ?C 1531) was an Italian painter from Florence, whose career flourished during the High Renaissance and early-Mannerism. Though highly regarded by his contemporaries as an artist "senza errori" (i.e., faultless), he is overshadowed now by equally talented contemporaries like Raphael.
Andrea fell in love with Lucrezia (del Fede), wife of a hatter named Carlo, of Recanati; the hatter dying opportunely, Andrea married her on 26 December 1512. She has come down to us in many a picture of her lover-husband, who constantly painted her as a Madonna and otherwise; even in painting other women he made them resemble Lucrezia. She was less gently handled by Giorgio Vasari, a pupil of Andrea, who describes her as faithless, jealous, and vixenish with the apprentices; her offstage character permeates Robert Browning's poem-monologue "Andrea del Sarto called the 'faultless painter'" (1855) .
He dwelt in Florence throughout the memorable siege of 1529, which was soon followed by an infectious pestilence. He caught the malady, struggled against it with little or no tending from his wife, who held aloof, and he died, no one knowing much about it at the moment, on 22 January 1531, at the comparatively early age of forty-three. He was buried unceremoniously in the church of the Servites. His wife survived her husband by forty years.
A number of paintings are considered to be self-portraits. One is in the National Gallery, London, an admirable half-figure, purchased in 1862. Another is at Alnwick Castle, a young man about twenty years, with his elbow on a table. Another youthful portrait is in the Uffizi Gallery, and the Pitti Palace contains more than one.