Andrea del Sarto (Andrea d'Agnolo) (Italian, Florentine, 14861530)
Oil on wood; 53 1/2 x 39 5/8 in. (135.9 x 100.6 cm)
Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund, 1922 (22.75)
This grand and much copied work was painted about 1530 for the Florentine nobleman Giovanni Borgherini. The action of the figures has been interpreted as signifying the transfer of Florence's allegiance from Saint John the Baptistits patron saintto Christ, as had been promulgated by Savonarola. Sarto was known as "the painter without defects," and this reputation is fully evident in the masterful drawing of the figures, the nobility and complexity of their gestures, and the sumptuous color. There are preparatory drawings in the Uffizi, Florence, and the Louvre, Paris. The frame is of the late sixteenth century, possibly Florentine.