Monday, July 30, 2012

Vasari wrote first Renaissance artist bios

Giorgio Vasari
It is the birthday of Italian Renaissance historian Giorgio Vasari (1511), who was a successful architect and painter but whose most significant contribution may be the biographies of Renaissance artists he wrote. Much of what we know about Leonardo da Vinci, for instance, started with Vasari's account.

Vasari grew up in Tuscany and studied in Florence as a teenager. He also studied in Rome, and worked in Naples and other places. His work as as architect can still be seen in Florence, where passageways he envisioned and built still bear his name, and churches still serve as testament to his talent.

Pope Pius V commissioned his painting titled The Adoration of the Magi (1567) for a church in a small town in northern Italy. The painting was recently restored and displayed in Rome and Naples and will eventually be returned to Santa Croce in Bosco Marengo, the pope's hometown.

But it is as an art historian that Vasari is best remembered. He was the first to create an encyclopedia of artists. He was the first to use the word "renaissance" in print, though others were certainly talking about the phenomenon as it was taking place.

However, Vasari was a bit parochial in his work, titled Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (1550). Scholars have noted a decided bias toward artists working in Florence, to the point of ignoring those in Venice and elsewhere. He did include artists working in Rome, perhaps because he had worked in Rome as well. As for artists working in other parts of Europe, forget about. They apparently didn't exist as far as Vasari was concerned.

The book was enlarged and partly rewritten in 1568, and woodcut portraits of the artists were added, including some from Venice after Vasari visited there. Still, the second edition remained largely biased toward Florentine artists.

Nevertheless, scholars and art historians, even today, still consider Vasari's book an important work, and many have used it as a primary source in their own studies of certain artists. In any case, it is hailed as  "the most influential single text for the history of Renaissance art." It served as a model for encyclopedias of artists. Furthermore, it gave great insight into the technical aspects of painting, sculpture, and architecture during the Italian Renaissance.

Among the more than 180 artists included in the work are Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Taddeo Gaddi, Raphael, Correggio, and Alfonso Lombardi. Giorgio Vasari also included a biography of himself, lest anyone forget him.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Our specialties

Our specialties include Floridiana (Florida History, Florida Authors, Florida Related Ephemera), American History, Literature of the South, Military History (including, but not limited to, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korean War), Children’s Literature, Maps, Leather Bindings and Rare & Unusual items.

We also have a wide variety of general stock, including a large Landscape/Gardening section, a great selection of Christian/Church History/Bible Study titles, Beat Literature, and much more. Please browse our extensive category list.

Appraisal service

Michael F. Slicker, is one of about 450 qualified members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Inc., and its affiliate the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers.

Condition of the book, demand for it and history of comparable sales are among the factors considered in evaluating the value of a book. Other factors may apply as well.

Please contact us for more information regarding our certified appraisal services. We encourage you to visit our website, Lighthouse Books, ABAA

Florida Antiquarian Book Fair

Michael Slicker was the founding president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association and has served as chairman of its annual Florida Antiquarian Book Fair since its inception.

The 36th annual book fair is set for April 21-23, 2017 at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg.

The fair is the oldest and largest antiquarian book fair in the Southeast. Learn more about the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair and the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association.

  © Blogger templates Newspaper II by 2008

Back to TOP