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Chiaroscuro

Chiaroscuro is the use of darkness to create a significant contrast between light and dark in a painting. Chiaroscuro is present here above towards the people's heads and into the clouds with Mary. This contributes to strong contrast in the painting from the light rose colored garments below.

Form

The complex overlapping of the baby angel bodies shows the viwer their spatial relationship. Because of their tight overlapping, we can see that they are in a confined space to make it into the frame and squeezing together around Mary.

Foreshortening

Here Del Sarto uses foreshortening with the man's hand to have it appear as though it is really reaching out towards the viewer rather than being two dimensional. This technique helps to make the artwork look more realistic.

Summary

Del Sarto's techniques such as the use of chiaroscuro and the decision to use oil contribute to making a very dramatic yet refined painting. The beautiful blended almost "soft" colors are only something that can be achieved with oil paint. The use of chiaroscuro found towards the head of the people touching the floor rising to the clouds helps to create a contrast that contributes to a sense of darkness, which is different from the beautiful pale orange and rose muted tones that the men towards the bottom of the painting are wearing. Their bodies overlapping (as shown above with the angels as well) suggests that they are in a confined space and squeezing around what appears to be a tomb to witness Mary. Overall the painting is very beautiful because Del Sarto combines a sense of darkness (from the chiaroscuro technique) balanced with peace due to his use of softly blended colors.

Modeling

The rose colored cloak is a good example of the modeling that Andrea Del Sarto does. There are varying ranges of hues present in the cloak that work to make the cloak look more realistic and three dimensional. The lighter portion draw your eye forward while the darker areas act as shadows.

Oil Technique

The soft blending of colors tells me that this painting was made with oil rather than the tempera technique. The softness in blending is something that is not easy to achieve with the tempera painting technique.