(b. 1486, Firenze, d. 1530, Firenze)

Portrait of a Woman with a Basket of Spindles

c. 1517
Oil on wood, 76 x 54 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Great dignity and extreme tenderness can be seen in this superb portrait of Woman with a Basket of Spindles. For a long time it was thought to be by Pontormo and only recently attributed to Andrea del Sarto. This is possibly one of the paintings that Andrea del Sarto began and his assistant Jacopo Pontormo finished. Typical of Andrea, in fact, are the slightly rotating planes, aimed at defining a compact mass in movement, totally remote from the harsh, almost neo-Gothic line which distinguishes the portrait-painting of Pontormo. The heavy use of chiaroscuro takes nothing away from the chromatic richness of the clothes whose soft drapery confers to the woman a classic monumentality.