Reviving The Greatest Forgotten Artist of the Renaissance

Andrea del Sarto:
The Renaissance Workshop in Action

At the Getty in Los Angeles until Sept. 13, 2015 
At the Frick in N.Y. from Oct 7, 2015, to Jan. 10, 2016

Study of the Head of a Young Woman (detail), about 1523, Andrea del Sarto. Red chalk. Istituti museale della Soprintendenza Speciale per Il Polo Museale Fiorentino. Su concessione del Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo. Photo: Scala / Art Resource, NY

“The greatest forgotten artist of the Renaissance,” according to J. Paul Getty Museum curator Julian Brooks, Andrea del Sarto was once as well-known as Michelangelo and Raphael, and collected by the Medici family and European royalty. Over the years, the Florence-based artist lost favor and fame, but a new exhibit at the Getty aims to resuscitate Del Sarto’s renown and reputation.

The so-called Portrait of a Sculptor, long believed to have been Del Sarto’s self-portrait,
ca. 1517-18. Oil on canvas, 28 1/2 x 22 1/2 in. National Gallery, London © The National Gallery, London

The exhibit features 48 drawings and paintings from private art collections and museums worldwide. It includes 18 on loan from the Uffizi Gallery Museum in Florence, Italy, which owns half of the 180 surviving works by the artist.

The exhibit includes the “deconstruction” of two of  most admired paintings, The Sacrifice of Isaac and The Medici Holy Family, to show the process by which they were made. Using infrared reflectograms, viewers can see beneath the layers of paint to the under-drawings that outlined the artist’s plan for figures and their positions, and the changes that he made as the paintings evolved.

Labels: Del Sarto, Frick, Getty