” Andrea del Sarto “ is a dramatic monologue where Andrea del Sarto is the speaker and his wife ‘Lucrezia’ is the silent listener. The poem deals with the tragic life of the Italian artist Andrea del Sarto. As the poem begins, we see that One evening ‘Lucrezia’ is about to leave the house to meet her lover. Andrea stops her and requests her to spend at least this evening with him. Andrea and Lucrezia sit at their window and Andrea relates the tragedy of his life to her.
Andrea was a talented and reputed painter. But, he ruined his career for his excessive love for his wife ‘Lucrezia’ . He was extremely fond of his wife. He did everything to satisfy his wife. But Lucrezia was more interested in his money than in his love. In order to gain her companionship, Andrea praises her lavishly. However, Lucrezia has serpentine beauty. She is no faithful to her husband and flirts with other people. She is beautiful like the Moon. But Andrea’s problem is that she is everybody’s moon, not exclusively his own. Andrew knows that his wife has relations with other people and she doesn’t provide him any love or inspiration. Even after knowing all, He sacrifices his profession for her. In order to meet her demand, Andrea has to remain busy with mediocre arts of commercial value.
Now at a critical moment of his life, he reviews his career as an artist. He finds that he has gained nothing significant. It throws him into the abyss of frustration.
Actually, Andrea has a perfect technical skill but he doesn’t have the divine inspiration which is necessary to be a great artist. He could not be as great as other artists like Raphael and Michael Angelo. It is because he sacrificed his ideal for the love of his wife. He realizes the fact and laments his tragedy. In the course of disclosing his sadness he tells that for his technical mastery of the art, he was invited by the king of France to decorate the royal court. The kind provided him all the inspiration and financial support. But his excessive love for his wife did not allow him to remain in the court, as his wife desired him to come back. He came back to Florence and built a house for his wife with the money that the king gave him for buying works of art for the king.
It was no doubt a sin to embezzle the money of the king. when he realized his mistake, he was struck with remorse. Pangs of conscience afflicted his mind. He found no peace of mind. Andrea sacrificed everything for the lady who was cruel, infidel, and fickle-minded. But he received no happiness, no peace of mind from her. He couldn’t but satisfy whatever she demanded. In a melancholy mood, he tries to justify his negligence of his parents. Though he earned a lot of money, his parents lived a miserable life. He didn’t pay due attention to them because of the bad influence of his wife. In fact, Andrea misused his talent. But, Andrea has a firm belief that even after his death God may give him a chance to make up his earthly shortcomings.
Andrea tells these to Lucrezia. In the meantime, she is called from outside by her cousin who is her lover. Andrea lets her leave to go to her lover.