Andrea del Sarto

Dates1486 - 1530
BornFlorence, Italy
DiedFlorence, Italy

Andrea del Sarto, nicknamed Andrea "of the tailor" after his father's occupation, was one of Florence's leading artists in the early 1500s. Except for a visit to Rome around 1511, where his style gained greater monumentality, and a year-long stay in France in 1518, where he completed a few works at the invitation of François I, he spent most of his life in Florence.

Patrons admired Andrea's fluent elaboration of the High Renaissance style and the natural expression of emotion in his mainly religious works. He used patches of colored light and shade to shape forms, rather than conceiving painting as colored drawing.

In the early 1510s, Jacopo Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, and Giorgio Vasari, (who later maliciously slandered Andrea for lacking creative fire) trained in Andrea's highly influential studio. His process of making a series of preparatory drawings before painting demonstrated his patient pursuit of perfection and became a pattern for later artists.

In 1517 or 1518 he married a wealthy widow who had modeled for him for several years, both for portraits and for Madonnas. In the 1520s, he built a substantial house in Florence, and his style became more ideal and more polished.