Tobias and the Angel was painted by Andrea del Verrocchio (about 1435 – 1488), one of the most sought-after artists in Florence in the second half of the 15th century. Its elegant figures, bright colours and intricate details have never ceased to enchant viewers, yet they also provoke intriguing questions about the painting’s making and meaning. Why did Verrocchio choose to depict this specific subject? Did he paint it on his own, or did he have help? And why does the little dog appear to be translucent? In this talk, Charlotte will explore such questions by placing the painting within the context of Renaissance Florence, delving into Verrocchio’s career, clientele and workshop practices.
Charlotte Wytema is the Simon Sainsbury Curatorial Fellow at the National Gallery, focusing on Italian and northern European paintings made before 1550 now held in this collection. Born and raised in the Netherlands, she received her BA and MA degrees in the History of Art at the University of Groningen. She has held trainee positions at the British Museum in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Groeningemuseum in Bruges, after which she co-curated the exhibition Neighbours: Portraits from Flanders 1400-1700 at the Mauritshuis in The Hague. She is in the final stages of her doctoral research at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London.