Andrea Solario (1460–1524) was an Italian Renaissance painter of the Milanese school.

He was initially named Andre del Gobbo, but more confusingly as Andrea del Bartolo, a name shared with two other Italian painters, the 14th-century Siennese Andrea di Bartolo, and the 15th-century Florentine Andrea di Bartolo.

Solario was born in Milan into a family of artists but he was the first member to devote himself to painting. For many years he was a little known figure and his work was frequently attributed to better-known artists such as Bernardino Luini.

Solario’s oeuvre, comprising around fifty paintings and twenty drawings, was only reconstructed in the 19th century by Mündler.

Little is known of the artist’s life but it has been suggested that he may have first trained with his elder brother, the sculptor Cristoforo Solario. It is thought that during the early 1490s the Solario accompanied his brother on a trip to Venice where he encountered the work of Antonello da Messina, which profoundly influenced his own style.

In early 1507 Solario was invited to France by Cardinal Georges I d’Amboise, who commissioned him to decorate the chapel of the châteaux at Gaillon, residence of the archbishops of Rouen. Solario remained there until at least September 1509. On his return to Milan he worked for the Cardinal’s nephew and heir, Charles II d’Amboise, governor of Milan, and for other members of the city’s political and ecclesiastical elites.

Andrea Solario primarily focused on religious painting but was also a great portraitist. His style assimilated Leonardo’s models and solutions, while also reflecting the work of Antonello da Messina. Solario’s painting reveals a profound knowledge of Flemish art.

Source: Museo Nacional Thyssen – Bornemisza. Madrid.