ANDREA DEL SARTO
(b. 1486, Firenze, d. 1530, Firenze)
Birth of the Virgin1514
Fresco, 413 x 345 cm
Santissima Annunziata, Florence
The interior is vast and elaborate, dominated by the huge canopy of the bed of the woman in labour, and defined in all its vastness by elegant architectural features and furnishings. In this grandiose framework, which presupposes Andrea's clear knowledge of what Raphael and Michelangelo had been working in Rome, the women are moving slowly attending with serene solicitude to the tasks as laid down by the account in the apocryphal Gospels, leading the scene an absolutely original kind of animation.