National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Charity Andrea del Sarto (artist)
Florentine, 1486 - 1530
Charity, before 1530
oil on panel
overall: 119.5 x 92.5 cm (47 1/16 x 36 7/16 in.) framed: 154.3 x 128.9 x 12.1 cm (60 3/4 x 50 3/4 x 4 3/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1957.14.5
Not on View
From the Tour: Mannerism
Object 1 of 8

In a sense, Andrea del Sarto could be called the godfather of mannerism. Two of his students—Rosso and Pontormo—took the expressive potential of his early work as a point of departure. Andrea’s approach, however, remained more classical. While his students looked beneath the appearance of the real world for something more introverted and abstract, Andrea sought a more forceful expression of what he saw in nature. It has been said that color, vibrant and communicative, was his real subject. Produced late in his career, this painting has a quiet warmth and calm sentiment, despite the intensity of its hues.

Charity’s face reproduces the features of Andrea’s wife Lucrezia. Vasari, who apprenticed in Andrea’s workshop (and disliked his wife), noted that “because of seeing her continuously and having drawn her so often, and—what is more—having her impressed on his soul,” every woman his master painted looked like Lucrezia.

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