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Bernhard Berenson

Andrea del Sarto approached perhaps as closely to a Giorgione or a Titian as could a Florentine, ill at ease in the neighbourhood of Leonardo and Michelangelo. As an artist he was, it is true, not endowed with the profoundest sense for the significant, yet within the sphere of common humanity who has produced anything more genial than his “Portrait of a Lady”—probably his wife—with a Petrarch in her hands?

1425-1499. Pupil of Domenico Veneziano; influenced by Paolo Uccello.

1449-1494. Pupil of Baldovinetti; influenced slightly by Botticelli and more strongly by Verrocchio.

Masaccio’s death left Florentine painting in the hands of three men older, and two somewhat younger than himself, all men of great talent, if not of genius, each of whom—the former to the extent habits already formed would permit, the latter overwhelmingly, felt his influence. The older, who, but for Masaccio, would themselves have been the sole determining personalities in their art, were Fra Angelico, Paolo Uccello, and Andrea del Castagno; the younger, Domenico Veneziano and Fra Filippo.

1397-1475. Influenced by Donatello.

In all that concerns movement, Verrocchio was a learner from Pollaiuolo, rather than an initiator, and he probably never attained his master’s proficiency. We have unfortunately but few terms for comparison, as the only paintings which can be with certainty ascribed to Verrocchio are not pictures of action. A drawing however like that of his angel, in the British Museum, which attempts as much movement as the Hercules by Pollaiuolo, in the same collection, is of obviously inferior quality.

Pontormo, who had it in him to be a decorator and portrait-painter of the highest rank, was led astray by his awe-struck admiration for Michelangelo, and ended as an academic constructor of monstrous nudes.

1475-1517. Pupil of Pier di Cosimo; influenced by Leonardo and Michelangelo.

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