Sarto, Andri Vannucchi

Sarto, Andri Vannucchi, Called Del Sarto, an Italian painter, was born at Florence about 1488. Having shown a taste for drawing, he was placed with a goldsmith to learn engraving on plate. Giovanni Barile, a painter, persuaded his father to entrust him to his care, and he remained with Barile three years; he was then placed by him with Pietro Cosimo. Leaving the school of Cosimo, he formed an intimacy with Francisco Bigio, with whom he executed some works in the public buildings of Florence, which gained him considerable reputation. We are told by Vasari that Sarto passed some time in Rome. After his return, he painted for the Monastery of the Salvi his admired pictures of the Descent of the Holy Ghost, the Birth of the Virgin, and the Last Supper. Francis I, king of France, desirous of procuring specimens of Italian art, Sarto was commissioned to paint a picture for his majesty, and sent in a Dead Christ, with the Virgin, St. John, and other figures, which are now among the chief ornaments of the Gallery of the Louvre. The king invited him to Paris, where he obtained employment from Francis and the nobility. His wife urging his return to Florence, he obtained leave of absence, and was intrusted with a considerable sum of money for the purchase of statues, pictures, etc. Having spent the king's money, as well as his own, he sank into poverty, and died of the plague in 1530. The churches, convents, and palaces of Florence contain many of his best works. In the National Gallery are two pictures by him, the Holy Family and his own portrait.

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