Drawing Exhibition of the Month: Andrea del Sarto in Los Angeles

Del Sarto 3

Study of the Head of a Young Woman, by Andrea del Sarto, ca. 1523, red chalk, 8 9/16 x 15 9/16. Collection Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Su concessione del Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo. Photo: Scala / Art Resource, NY. All artwork this article courtesy the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California

An exhibition currently on view in California offers big rewards for lovers of figure drawing and Renaissance art. “Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action” is showing at the Getty, in Los Angeles, until September 13, and it is Drawing magazine’s Exhibition of the Month for July.

Andrea del Sarto (1486-1530) was one of the great draftsmen of Renaissnace Florence, able to combine powerful realism and immediacy with highly spiritual subjects. In the exhibition catalogue, curator Julian Brooks writes:

“Compared with his peers—Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Correggio, Parmigianino, Titian—Andrea del Sarto has been little studied in recent times. Even Andrea’s pupils have been better served by scholarship in the past two decades than their master. … But where is Andrea del Sarto, the revolutionary engine of the Florentine Renaissance and the transformer of draftsmanship?

Andrea deserves study not because he is worthy of it (although he is), or because he is an interesting subject (he is), or because of his role in Italian Renaissance art (pivotal), but because, in addition to all these things, he opens a door for us on the essence of the creativity of that exceptional period.

The exhibition will be the subject of a feature article in the fall issue of Drawing, containing many more examples of artwork by Del Sarto. (To be sure you get that article you can subscribe to Drawing here.After it leaves the Getty, the show will appear at the Frick Collection, in New York City, from October 7 until January 10, 2016. For readers who won’t be able to see the show in person, there is a beautiful hardcover catalogue, which can be purchased through the Getty’s online store.

I hope you have a chance to view this special show. For now, though, enjoy this small sample of drawings from an underrated Renaissance star.

Del Sarto figure drawing

Head of a Young Man, Looking Up to the Right, by Andrea del Sarto, 1512, black chalk, 12 3/8 x 9 5/8. Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris.


del Sarto figure drawing

Studies of a Head and a Hand, by Andrea del Sarto, 1510, red chalk, 5 9/16 x 8 1/16. Collection The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York. Image copyright © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

Study of a Kneeling Figure with a Sketch of a Face (recto); Figure Study and Face (verso)

Study of a Kneeling Figure with a Sketch of a Face, by Andrea del Sarto, 1522-1526, red and black chalk, 11 13/16 x 7 13/16. Collection J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California.



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