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The Sacrifice of Isaac
Sarto, Andrea del (Andrea d'Agnolo)
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Sarto, Andrea del (Andrea d'Agnolo)

Florence, 1486 - Florence, 1530

Sarto, Andrea del (Andrea d'Agnolo) See author's file

The Sacrifice of Isaac

Ca. 1528. Oil on panel Room 049

This scene portrays the moment described in the Old Testament (Genesis 22, 1-19) in which, at the orders of Yahweh, Abraham prepares to sacrifice his son Isaac as an offering. Seeing that Abraham follows his orders with blind faith, Yahweh considers his faithfulness to be proven and sends an angel to save Isaac at the last moment, ordering that a lamb be sacrificed in his place. This Bible passage is understood as a foreshadowing of the Passion of Christ, who was sacrificed to God the father in order to save humanity. The main scene takes place in the foreground, with Isaac kneeling nude on the sacrificial altar. He is being held by his father, who wields a knife with his right hand. A lamb appears at the left and an angel at the right. The background is a landscape. According to Vasari, Sarto made three versions of this Bible story at the end of his career. The one at the Prado Museum is identified as the one painted for Paolo de Terrarrosa. It is smaller, though equal in quality to those at the Gemäldegalerie of Dresden and the Cleveland Museum. This work was acquired by the Marquis of Vasto upon the artist´s death and was later purchased by Charles IV (1748-1819). It was first documented in the Casita del Príncipe (“Prince´s House:)” at El Escorial in 1779. In 1814, it was at the Palace of Aranjuez.

Technical data

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Inventory number
Sarto, Andrea del (Andrea d'Agnolo)
The Sacrifice of Isaac
Ca. 1528
Height: 98 cm.; Width: 69 cm.
Royal Collection (Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Madrid, "despacho y dormitorio del rey”, 1818, nº 110)

Bibliography +

Inventario de las Pinturas del Museo Hecho a la Muerte del Rey Fernado VII, [s.n, Madrid, 1834, pp. 42.

Lefort, Paul, Le Musée du Prado, GAZETTE DES BEAUX-ARTS: LA CHRONIQUE DES ARTS, 9, 1893, pp. 198.

Berenson, Bernard, The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance, G.P.Putnam's Sons, Nueva York-Londres, 1909, pp. 103.

Freedberg, S.J., Andrea del Sarto, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1963, pp. lám. 191.

Shearman, John, Andrea del Sarto, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1965, pp. 281-282 / lám. 168b.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: pintura italiana anterior a 1600, Gredos, Madrid, 1979, pp. 102-103.

Berti, Luciano, Il primato del disegno, FIRENZE E LA TOSCANA DEI MEDICI..., Electa editrice, Florencia, 1980, pp. 60.

Cassill, J.K., European Paintings of the 16th, 17th, And 18th Centuries. Vo, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, 1982, pp. 407/ lám. 178.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 621.

Natali, A., Andrea del Sarto. Catalogo Completo Dei Dipinti, Cantini, Florencia, 1989, pp. 128.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. nº837.

Buendía, José Rogelio, El Prado. Colecciones de Pintura, Lunwerg Editores, Barcelona, 1994, pp. 247.

Bettagno, Alessandro, El Museo del Prado, Fonds Mercator Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1996, pp. 314.

Natali, Antonio, Andrea del Sarto, Abbeville Press Publishers, New York,London, 1999, pp. 183/ lám. 180.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura italiana del Renacimiento: guía, Museo del Prado, Aldeasa, Madrid, 1999, pp. 68.

Alvarez, Mari-Tere, El Alma de España = the Soul of Spain, The Alburquerque Museum, Alburquerque, 2005.

Franklin, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, and the Renaissance in Flor, Yale University Press, Otawa, 2005.

Bourdais, Gildas, Visions célestes, visions cosmiques, Éd. le Temps présent, 2007, pp. 104.

Baker- Bates, Piers, Sebastiano del Piombo as a painter of diplomatic gifts, Renaissance studies, 27, 2013, pp. 51-72 [71].

Eclercy, Bastian, 'Andrea del Sarto. The sacrifice of Isaac' En:, Prestel,, 2016, pp. 138-140 n.53.

Rinaldi, Flavio, Denys Calvaert in Rome, The Burlington magazine, March CLVIII, 2016, pp. 182-188 [188 f.27].

Gonzalez Mozo, A, El color de las formas en transición. Reflexiones sobre algunas obras de Andrea del Sarto expuestas en el Museo del Prado., Kermes, XXIX-XXX Ott-Mar., 2016-2017, pp. 56-65 f.2,5,9 14a.

Steele, Marcia, The Three versions of the Sacrifice of Isaac. Technical research and comparative studies, Kermes: la rivista del restauro, XXIX-XXX Ot-Marz, 2016-2017, pp. 123-142 f.3,7,9,10,11,13-17, 23-26,28, 32,37.

Other inventories +

Inv. Fernando VII, Aranjuez, 1814-1818. Núm. 110.
Despacho y Dormitorio del Rey [...] {20755} 110 / Tabla, cinco quartas alto tres de ancho, el sacrificio de Isaac = Andres del Sarto

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 837.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 837.
Andres del Sarto. / 837. El sacrificio de Abraham. / El patriarca ase con la mano izquierda los brazos ligados de su hijo, y con la derecha levantada se dispone a descargar sobre él el golpe de muerte. Un angel le manda suspender el sacrificio manifestandole que el padre eterno estaba satisfecho de aquella prueba de su ciega obediencia. El fondo es un pais, donde se ven los criados de Abraham esperando la vuelta de sus amos. / Este cuadro, repeticion del que Andres del Sarto mando a Francisco 1º rey de Francia, fue el que compro el marques del Vasto, don Alonso Davalos, despues de la muerte del autor. (C.L.) (tabla.) / Alto 3 pies, 6 pulg; ancho 2 pies, 5 pulg, 6 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 387.

Exhibitions +

Maniera. Mannerism in Medici Florence
24.02.2016 - 05.06.2016

Firenze e gli antichi Paesi Bassi. Dialoghi artistici 1430 - 1530
20.06.2008 - 26.10.2008

The High Renaissance in Florence
27.05.2005 - 05.09.2005

Location +

Room 049 (On Display)

Update date: 12-11-2019 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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