Essay on Andre Del Sarto; The Faultless Painter By Robert Browning



Love is the most powerful emotion, which has driven men to great extremes. The
painter in Robert Brownings poem “Andre Del Sarto The Faultless Painter” in a fine
example of a psychotic maniac, who leads to his own destruction.

The poem was designed to show the ravings of a lunatic. It was written in blank
verse, without a rhyme scheme. It is a long poem, divided into twelve groups of
approximately 21 lines. Each division is a new analogy comparing Lucrezia to many
aspects of his life. She is often compared to the virgin Mary, while he compares himself
to famous painters who tried to capture the beauty of the virgin mother. He compares
himself to renaissance painters such as Rafael, Michael Angelo, and Leonard. He seems
to possess delusions of grandeur, and seems to be living in his own sheltered world. He is
a religious man, making several allusions to Jerusalem, believed too be the center of the
earth and the gateway to heaven. He also appears to be a member of the aristocracy,
saying that he has traveled to Florence. He was a well known member of the society, or
in the very least believes himself to be.

Even with his religion and social status, he had a dark evil side. Lucrezia appears
to have been a prostitute. In line 8 he says he will “and shut the money into this small
hand / when it takes mine”. This is an reference to his paying her. In line 190, he says
“that cousin again- he must see you- and not with me?” showing that he was blind to the
fact she had other lovers. Although he truly loved her, she only stayed with him for the

The poem is one of mystery, combined with the blind love of a crazy man. It is
similar to other Browning poem in that it tells a tale from the eyes of an insane man, yet it
has several vital differences. This poem shows the darkness in human souls caused by love
and greed, however the painter does not choose to kill his lover when he find she is
cheating on him. Rather, he overlooks that fact, and lives happily in ignorance. This
poem could be summarized in the proverb “ignorance is bliss”.