The Easel

Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action, Frick Collection, New York — ‘Diligence and caution’

Art history’s view of Andrea del Sarto was seemingly set when a contemporary bemoaned a lack of “a slightly more courageous and daring spirit”. A show at the Frick attempts a reassessment but this critic resists. Del Sarto’s shortcoming was not “casual flawlessness.” Instead, “The sketches offer glimpses … of an artist who understood life’s difficulties but preferred to…buff all the vibrancy out of crude existence”.