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Author Profile: Giorgio Vasari (1511 — 1574)

Includes a bibliography of primarily Italian and English texts. Edited by Paul F. A good basic resource for students. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

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It was partly rewritten and enlarged in and provided with woodcut portraits of artists some conjectural. The work has a consistent and notorious favour of Florentines and tends to attribute to them all the new developments in Renaissance art—for example, the invention of engraving. Venetian art in particular, let alone other parts of Europe, is systematically ignored. John Symonds claimed in that, "It is clear that Vasari often wrote with carelessness, confusing dates and places, and taking no pains to verify the truth of his assertions" in regards to Vasari's life of Nicola Pisano , while acknowledging that, despite these shortcomings, it is one of the basic sources for information on the Renaissance in Italy.

Vasari's biographies are interspersed with amusing gossip. Many of his anecdotes have the ring of truth, although likely inventions. Others are generic fictions, such as the tale of young Giotto painting a fly on the surface of a painting by Cimabue that the older master repeatedly tried to brush away, a genre tale that echoes anecdotes told of the Greek painter Apelles. He did not research archives for exact dates, as modern art historians do, and naturally his biographies are most dependable for the painters of his own generation and the immediately preceding one.

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Modern criticism—with all the new materials opened up by research—has corrected many of his traditional dates and attributions. The work is widely considered a classic even today, though it is widely agreed that it must be supplemented by modern scientific research. Vasari includes a forty-two-page sketch of his own biography at the end of his Vite , and adds further details about himself and his family in his lives of Lazzaro Vasari and Francesco de' Rossi. Vasari's Vite has been described as "by far the most influential single text for the history of Renaissance art" [7] and "the most important work of Renaissance biography of artists".

The Vite formed a model for encyclopedias of artist biographies. Different 17th century translators became artist biographers in their own country of origin and were often called the Vasari of their country. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects Audiobook Giorgio VASARI

Excellent resource for undergraduates and scholars alike. Includes a bibliography of primarily Italian and English texts.

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Edited by Paul F. A good basic resource for students. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login. Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here. Not a member? Sign up for My OBO. Already a member?

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Publications Pages Publications Pages. Subscriber sign in.