Wednesday Art ATTACK- Andrea del Sarto "Pietà with Saints (1524)"

By Christian Franzen

Andrea del Sarto was born in Florence July 16th in 1486. He was sent into an apprenticeship at the young age of 12 because if his noticeable artistic talents. Gian Barlie, semi notable woodcarver and painter, was his first teacher. Del Sarto studied with him for four years until he was apprentice snatched by the highly acclaimed painter of the mid Renaissance Piero di Cosimo. 

After his training was complete he opened a joint studio with friend Franciabigio in Florence. Del Sarto began to blossom in his first large commission of a monochrome fresco series in the Compagna dello Scalzo in Florence. With the completion of this fresco, Del Sarto earned a stand out reputation among the painters of Florence for his ability of capturing natural poses and emotive expressions.

In 1509, the Brotherhood of the Servites hired Del Sarto to complete a series of frescos in the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata of Florence. This series depicted the live of Filippo Benizzi. Upon completion the frescos were met with much admiration and as a result the Brotherhood employed him for the next five years to create five more frescos.

The King of France ,François I, invited Del Sarto to visit France and receive employment from the King's court. However, after spending little time in France the artists wanted to return to Italy. Del Sarto tricked the King into paying him a sum of money to secure his loyalty and to return to France after a short visit to Italy. Instead of returning to France, Del Sarto used the Kings money to buy a large house in Florence upon his return home. 

Now back in Florence and more popular than ever, Del Sarto was in high demand for commissions. He began taking commissions all over Florence painting sections of many famous chapels and basilicas throughout the city. This period between 1520 and 1527 legitimized Del Sarto as a iconic master of the late Renaissance and a leader into the new age of mannerism. In 1527 he began his final painting at the Chapel San Salvia. Over the years this painting has gotten a large amount of attention because all the figures in the work appear to be self portraits of Del Sarto himself. Del Sarto actually painted many self portraits over his career as an artist but alway masked them into larger works or gave the works misleading names. In his final years he served as a brief mentor to the great florentine painter Pontormo. Andrea del Sarto died in September of 1530 at the age of forty-four. 

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