Artist: Andrea Del Sarto
Medium: Oil on panel
Size: 140 x 104 cm
Date: c. 1528
Location: Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome.
When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord they represented the Holy Family.
Veneration of the Holy Family was formally begun in the 17th century by Mgr François de Laval (30 April 1623 – 6 May 1708), the first Roman Catholic bishop of New France and one of the most influential men of his day. The feast of the Holy Family was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1893, and is now observed the Sunday within the Octave of Christmas, that is between Christmas and New Year's Day, or when there is no Sunday within the Octave (if both Christmas Day and New Year's Day are Sundays), it is held on 30 December, a Friday in such years.
Andrea del Sarto (1486 – 1531) was an Italian painter from Florence, whose career flourished during the High Renaissance and early-Mannerism. Though highly regarded during his lifetime as an artist senza errori ("without errors"), his renown was eclipsed after his untimely death by that of his contemporaries, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. In 1517 or 1518 he married a wealthy widow who had modeled for him for several years, both for portraits and for Madonnas. He went to France in 1518/19 at the invitation of François I and was well received there, but he broke his contract in order to return to his wife, who, in the opinion of contemporaries, ruined him. Andrea's works are of great importance in the evolution of Florentine painting, especially the Holy Families, often in half-length. His Madonnas are notable for their softly atmospheric qualities and the richness of their color, in contrast to the linear definition and clear, bright hues of artists like Botticelli and Ghirlandaio.