Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?
[Footnote: Browning, R.: Andrea del Sarto, ll. 97-98.]
Andrea del Sarto was regarded highly by his contemporaries. Michelangelo introduced Vasari to him. Vasari, however, was critical of his teacher, alleging that he had the skill of a great artist, but lacked the divine fire which animated the work of Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael. Browning’s poem is a dramatic monologue in which Andrea addresses his unfaithful wife Lucrezia.
A Study of History, Vol VII, OUP, 1954