Giorgio Vasari (Italian: [ˈdʒordʒo vaˈzaːri]; 30 July 1511 – 27 June 1574) was an Italian painter, architect, writer, and historian, most famous today for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.
|Born||30 July 1511|
|Died||27 June 1574 (aged 62)|
|Education||Andrea del Sarto|
|Known for||Painting, architecture|
|Biographies of Italian artists|
Vasari was born on 30 July 1511 in Arezzo, Tuscany. Recommended at an early age by his cousin Luca Signorelli, he became a pupil of Guglielmo da Marsiglia, a skillful painter of stained glass. Sent to Florence at the age of sixteen by Cardinal Silvio Passerini, he joined the circle of Andrea del Sarto and his pupils Rosso Fiorentino and Jacopo Pontormo, where his humanist education was encouraged. He was befriended by Michelangelo, whose painting style would influence his own. He died on 27 June 1574 in Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, aged 62.
In 1529, he visited Rome where he studied the works of Raphael and other artists of the Roman High Renaissance. Vasari's own Mannerist paintings were more admired in his lifetime than afterwards. In 1547 he completed the hall of the chancery in Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome with frescoes that received the name Sala dei Cento Giorni. He was consistently employed by members of the Medici family in Florence and Rome, and worked in Naples (for example on the Vasari Sacristy), Arezzo and other places. Many of his pictures still exist, the most important being the wall and ceiling paintings in the Sala di Cosimo I in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, where he and his assistants were at work from 1555, and the frescoes begun by him inside the vast cupola of the Duomo were completed by Federico Zuccari and with the help of Giovanni Balducci. He also helped to organize the decoration of the Studiolo, now reassembled in the Palazzo Vecchio.
In Rome he painted frescos in the Sala Regia.
Among his other pupils or followers are included Sebastiano Flori, Bartolomeo Carducci, Domenico Benci, Tommaso del Verrocchio, Federigo di Lamberto (Federigo del Padovano), Niccolo Betti, Vittor Casini, Mirabello Cavalori (Salincorno), Jacopo Coppi (Jacopo di Meglio), Piero di Ridolfo, Stefano Veltroni of Monte San Savino, Orazio Porta of Monte San Savino, Alessandro Fortori of Arezzo, Bastiano Flori of Arezzo, Fra Salvatore Foschi of Arezzo, and Andrea Aretino.
Aside from his career as a painter, Vasari was also successful as an architect. His loggia of the Palazzo degli Uffizi by the Arno opens up the vista at the far end of its long narrow courtyard. It is a unique piece of urban planning that functions as a public piazza, and which, if considered as a short street, is unique as a Renaissance street with a unified architectural treatment. The view of the Loggia from the Arno reveals that, with the Vasari Corridor, it is one of very few structures that line the river which are open to the river itself and appear to embrace the riverside environment.
In Florence, Vasari also built the long passage, now called Vasari Corridor, which connects the Uffizi with the Palazzo Pitti on the other side of the river. The enclosed corridor passes alongside the River Arno on an arcade, crosses the Ponte Vecchio and winds around the exterior of several buildings. It was once the home of the Mercado de Vecchio.
He also renovated the medieval churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce. At both he removed the original rood screen and loft, and remodelled the retro-choirs in the Mannerist taste of his time. In Santa Croce, he was responsible for the painting of The Adoration of the Magi which was commissioned by Pope Pius V in 1566 and completed in February 1567. It was recently restored, before being put on exhibition in 2011 in Rome and in Naples. Eventually it is planned to return it to the church of Santa Croce in Bosco Marengo (Province of Alessandria, Piedmont).
Often called "the first art historian", Vasari invented the genre of the encyclopedia of artistic biographies with his Le Vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori (Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects), dedicated to Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, which was first published in 1550. He was the first to use the term "Renaissance" (rinascita) in print, though an awareness of the ongoing "rebirth" in the arts had been in the air since the time of Alberti, and he was responsible for our use of the term Gothic Art, though he only used the word Goth which he associated with the "barbaric" German style. The Lives also included a novel treatise on the technical methods employed in the arts. The book was partly rewritten and enlarged in 1568, with the addition of woodcut portraits of artists (some conjectural).
The work has a consistent and notorious bias in favour of Florentines, and tends to attribute to them all the developments in Renaissance art – for example, the invention of engraving. Venetian art in particular (along with arts from other parts of Europe), is systematically ignored in the first edition. Between the first and second editions, Vasari visited Venice and while the second edition gave more attention to Venetian art (finally including Titian), it did so without achieving a neutral point of view. There are also many inaccuracies within his Lives. For example, Vasari writes that Andrea del Castagno killed Domenico Veneziano, which is not true, given Andrea died several years before Domenico. In another example, Vasari's biography of Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, whom he calls "Il Soddoma," published only in the Lives' second edition (1568) after Bazzi's death, condemns the artist as being immoral, bestial, and vain. Vasari also dismisses Bazzi's work as being lazy and offensive, despite the artist's having been named a Cavaliere di Cristo by Pope Leo X and having received important commissions for the Villa Farnese and other sites.
Vasari's biographies are interspersed with amusing gossip. Many of his anecdotes have the ring of truth, while others are inventions or 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 those of the immediate past. Modern criticism – with new materials opened up by research – has corrected many of his traditional dates and attributions.
According to the historian Richard Goldthwaite, Vasari was one of the earliest authors to use the term "competition" (or "concorrenza" in Italian) in its economic sense. He used it repeatedly, and stressed the concept in his introduction to the life of Pietro Perugino, in explaining the reasons for Florentine artistic preeminence. In Vasari's view, Florentine artists excelled because they were hungry, and they were hungry because their fierce competition amongst themselves for commissions kept them so. Competition, he said, is "one of the nourishments that maintain them".
Vasari enjoyed high repute during his lifetime and amassed a considerable fortune. In 1547, he built himself a fine house in Arezzo (now a museum honouring him), and decorated its walls and vaults with paintings. He was elected to the municipal council of his native town, and finally rose to the supreme office of gonfaloniere. He was made Knight of the Golden Spur by the Pope. He married Niccolosa Bacci, a member of one the richest and most prominent families of Arezzo.
Copies of Vasari's Lives of the Artists online:
The Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, or "Academy of the Arts of Drawing", is an academy of artists in Florence, Italy. The Accademia e Compagnia delle Arti del Disegno, or "academy and company of the arts of drawing", was founded on 13 January 1563 by Cosimo I de' Medici, under the influence of Giorgio Vasari. It was made up of two parts: the Company was a kind of guild for all working artists, while the Academy was for more eminent artistic personalities of Cosimo’s court, and supervised artistic production in Tuscany. It was later called the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno.
Artists including Michelangelo Buonarroti, Lazzaro Donati, Francesco da Sangallo, Agnolo Bronzino, Benvenuto Cellini, Giorgio Vasari, Bartolomeo Ammannati, and Giambologna were members. Most members of the Accademia were male; Artemisia Gentileschi was the first woman to be admitted.
Its declared purposes are the promotion and diffusion of the arts, and the protection and conservation of cultural heritage worldwide. It organises conferences, concerts, book presentations and exhibitions, and elects noted artists from all over the world to honorary membership.Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze
The Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze ("academy of fine arts of Florence") is an instructional art academy in Florence, in Tuscany, in central Italy.
It was founded by Cosimo I de' Medici in 1563, under the influence of Giorgio Vasari. Michelangelo Buonarroti, Benvenuto Cellini and other significant artists have been associated with it.
Like other state art academies in Italy, it became an autonomous degree-awarding institution under law no. 508 dated 21 December 1999, and falls under the Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca, the Italian ministry of education and research.The adjacent (but unaffiliated) Galleria dell'Accademia houses the original David by Michelangelo.Casa degli Omenoni
Casa degli Omenoni is a historic palace of Milan, northern Italy, located in the eponymous street of Via degli Omenoni (number 3). It was designed by sculptor Leone Leoni for himself; he both lived and worked there. It owes its name to the eight atlantes decorating its facade, termed "omenoni" ("big men" in Milanese), which were sculpted by Antonio Abondio, most probably on a design by Leoni. Lions (a reference to the "Leoni" family) are a recurring theme of its decorations; in particular, a large relief placed under the cornice depicts two lions tearing a satyr into pieces. The overall style of the palace and the decorations have been noted to include several references to the art of Michelangelo. The internal courtyard, modified in 1929 by Piero Portaluppi, has a colonnade with metopes and triglyphs.
Artist and historian Giorgio Vasari expressed his admiration for the palace, stating that it was pieno [...] di capricciose invenzioni ("full of capricious inventions"). At the time, the palace also housed a notable collection of art works and antiquities, which has been dispersed over time. According to an inventory dating back to 1615, it had paintings by Titian, Parmigianino, and Michelangelo; the inventory also mentions a book of drawings by Leonardo da Vinci, which scholars identify with the Codex Atlanticus now preserved in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana.The palace has been largely restored and restructured in the 19th and 20th century; only the facade has remained almost unchanged, except for the addition of iron balconies and of the attic.
After being owned by Leone Leoni and then by his son Pompeo Leoni, the house was sold by Pompeo's son-in-law Polidoro Calchi, and over time was owned by several notable Milanese families, including the Belgioioso, the Pozzi, and the Besana. It was also used as the seat of the music-publishing company Casa Ricordi, as a seat of the Fascist party, and as a theatre. The building is adjacent to the Palazzo Pozzi Besana.Davis Museum at Wellesley College
The Davis Museum in Wellesley, Massachusetts is located on the Wellesley College campus. The college art collection was first displayed in the Farnsworth Art Building, founded in 1889. The museum in its present form opened in 1993 in a building designed by Rafael Moneo.The permanent collection of about 11,000 objects ranges from antiquity to the present day.
The artists represented in the collection include Jacopo Sansovino, Pinturicchio, Hiroshige, Giorgio Vasari, Lavinia Fontana, Angelica Kauffmann, Ammi Phillips, John Singleton Copley, George Inness, Paul Cézanne, Georg Kolbe, Oskar Kokoschka, Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Andy Warhol, Alex Katz, Al Held, Knox Martin, Robert Rauschenberg, Sol LeWitt as well as works by Giacomo Manzù and Alberto Diego Giacometti. A large, recently restored mosaic from Antioch, excavated in a joint expedition with the Worcester Art Museum, is also present.Deposition of Christ (Fra Angelico)
The Deposition from the Cross is a painting of the Deposition of Christ by the Italian Renaissance master Fra Angelico, executed between 1432 and 1434. It is now housed in the National Museum of San Marco, Florence.
Giorgio Vasari defined it to have been “painted by a saint or an angel”.
Angelico intervened to complete this altarpiece when it had been already begun by Lorenzo Monaco for the Strozzi Chapel in the Florentine church of Santa Trinita. It portrays Christ supported by several people, with Mary Magdalene keeping his feet, as a symbol of human repentance. A figure on the right, with a red hat, is showing the cross' nails and the horns crown, symbols of passion and sacrifice.
Mary, wearing a dark dress, is shown in the traditional gesture of keeping hands joined.Last Supper (Perugino)
The Last Supper (1493–1496) is a fresco by the Italian Renaissance painter Pietro Perugino, located in the refectory, now museum, of the former Convent of Fuligno located on Via Faenza #42 in Florence, region of Tuscany, Italy.The fresco depicts Jesus and the Apostles during the Last Supper, with Judas sitting separately on the near side of the table, as is common in depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art. It is considered one of Perugino's best works. As in some other cases, Perugino reused the details of the delicate figures here in other works, drawing later complaints from Giorgio Vasari.The convent of Fuligno originally had housed Clarissan nuns since 1419. Later it became a convent for noble Florentine girls, and received the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici and the Lapaccini family. Pietro Perugino, who by 1493 had settled mainly in Florence started to paint there. The fresco was "discovered" and open to the public in the 19th century. It was originally attributed to Raphael, who was a pupil of Perugino later, and whose early style is very similar to his, but it was eventually realized that it was a work by Perugino.Lazzaro Vasari
Lazzaro Vasari (1399–1468), also known as Lazzaro Taldi and as Lazzaro di Niccolò de' Taldi, was an Italian painter who was born in the Province of Arezzo. His father was a potter, as was Lazzaro Vasari’s son, Giorgio Vasari I. The painter Luca Signorelli (1441–1523) was Lazzaro Vasari’s nephew, and the art historian Giorgio Vasari was his great-grandson.
Lazzaro Vasari’s best-known work is the fresco of Saint Vincent Ferrer in the Basilica of San Domenico in Arezzo, Italy. He died in Arezzo in 1468 and was buried at the Chapel of San Giorgio in the same city.Libro de' Disegni
The Libro de' Disegni (Italian for Book of Drawings) was a collection of drawings gathered, sorted and grouped by Giorgio Vasari whilst writing his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. By the time of his death in 1574 it is thought to have contained around 526 drawings, of which 162 are now in the Louvre and 83 in the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm. There are also drawings from the Libro in the prints and drawings departments of the Uffizi, the British Museum, the Albertina, the National Gallery of Art and other institutions.Lives
Lives may refer to:
The plural form of life
Lives, Iran, a village in Khuzestan Province, Iran
The number of lives in a video game
Parallel Lives, aka Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, a series of biographies of famous men, written by Plutarch and thus often called Plutarch's Lives or The Lives of Plutarch
LiVES, a video editing program and VJ tool
"Lives", a song by Modest Mouse from the album The Moon & Antarctica
A short form of Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, a 16th-century book by Giorgio Vasari
'LIVES' - Lincolnshire Integrated Voluntary Emergency Service, Prehospital care provider in Lincolnshire, UKLoggia del Pesce
The Loggia del Pesce is a historical building in Florence, Italy. It is formed by nine wide arcades, supported by piers or columns. On each side are eight medallions depicting fishing activities and the sea. At the corners are four coats of arms.
It was commissioned by Duke Cosimo I de' Medici to Giorgio Vasari, to house the fish market which had been previously held near the Ponte Vecchio. Their place there was taken by the Vasari Corridor.
During the urban renovation of Florence following the unification of Italy (1885–1895), the loggia was dismantled and most of its decoration went to the museum of San Marco. It was rebuilt in the Piazza Ciompi only in 1956, re-using most of the original materials.Marcantonio della Torre
Marcantonio della Torre (1481–1511) was a Renaissance Professor of Anatomy who lectured at the University of Pavia and at the University of Padua.
It is believed that della Torre and Leonardo da Vinci, who studied the human anatomy by dissecting corpses, were intending to publish a book, but this did not eventuate as della Torre's life was cut short by plague in 1511. By this time Leonardo had made over 750 detailed anatomical drawings with annotations. Both Giorgio Vasari and Paolo Giovio claim that della Torre had written anatomical texts, but none are known to have survived to the modern age.Matteo dal Nasaro Veronese
Matteo dal Nasaro Veronese (died circa 1548), also known as Matteo dal Nasaro of Verona, was an Italian sculptor.
He was born in Verona, Italy, but came to prominence in Paris. According to Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, Matteo dal Nasaro excelled in the production of portrait cameos.Sala Regia (Vatican)
The Sala Regia (Regal Room) is a state hall in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City.
Although not intended as such, this broad room is really an antechamber to the Sistine Chapel. It also connects to the Pauline Chapel and is reached by the long staircase known as the Scala Regia. To the left of the entrance formerly stood the papal throne, which is now at the opposite side before the door leading to the Pauline Chapel.
The hall was begun under Pope Paul III by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and was completed in 1573. The elegant barrel vault is graced by the very impressive plaster decorations of Perino del Vaga. The stucco ornaments over the doors are by Daniele da Volterra. By 2019, the room and staircase were open to tourists who visit the Apostolic Palace.The walls were decorated by Livio Agresti, Giorgio Vasari and Taddeo Zuccari. The frescoes depict momentous turning-points in the history of the Church, including the return of Pope Gregory XI from Avignon to Rome, the Battle of Lepanto, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre, the raising of the ban from Henry IV, the reconciliation of Pope Alexander III with Frederick Barbarossa and Peter II of Aragon offering the Kingdom to Pope Innocent III.
The hall was originally used for the reception of princes and royal ambassadors, hence its name. Consistories were held in it, but were later transferred to the Saint Peter's Basilica on November 19, 2016, and the area has also provided an occasional musical recital in the presence of the pope; during a conclave it was used as a promenade for the cardinals.Sala dei Cento Giorni
The Sala dei Cento Giorni is a large frescoed gallery or room in the Palazzo della Cancelleria or Chancellery in Central Rome, Italy. The frescoes epitomize the Mannerist style of Giorgio Vasari and his studio.San Jacopo sopr'Arno
San Jacopo sopr'Arno is a church in Florence, Italy.
The church was built in the 10th–11th centuries in Romanesque style. It subsequently experienced heavy modifications including the addition of a triple-arched portico.
According to the Renaissance art historian Giorgio Vasari, Filippo Brunelleschi built here a chapel, the Ridolfi Chapel, in which he studied, in smaller scale, architectural elements later used in his famous dome of Santa Maria del Fiore. The chapel is now destroyed. Since 1542 it was held by Franciscans of the Minorite Order. The entrance portico was remade by order of Cosimo I de' Medici in 1580, using the architect Bernardino Radi. The bell tower was designed by Gherardo Silvani in 1660.
The church was damaged when the Arno River flooded Florence in 1966. Repairs of the church after flood led to the restoration of some of the historical architectural features, and the discovery of columns belonging to the original Romanesque church in the Baroque interior.Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri, Pisa
Santo Stefano dei Cavalieri is a church in central Pisa located on Piazza dei Cavalieri (Knight's Square).Construction began on 17 April 1565 in order to build a church for the Order of Knights of St Stephan, founded by the Grand Duke Cosimo de' Medici to fight Saracen piracy in the Mediterranean. The project with designs and oversight by Giorgio Vasari and David Fortini was to build a church on the site of an older church called San Sebastiano alle Fabbriche Maggiori, which dated at least to 1074. The new church on the site was consecrated by 21 December 1569. The facade, in white marble was designed by Don Giovanni de' Medici, illegitimate son of Cosimo I, with the help of Alessandro Pieroni; their designs were chosen over Vasari’s original plan. An inscription commemorates completion during the reign of Ferdinando I de' Medici.
The bell-tower, also designed by Vasari, was completed by 1572 by Giovanni Fancelli. The main altar designs were by Pier Francesco Silvani. Many alterations and additions were proposed and made over the next two centuries, including plans by Gherardo Mechini, Paolo Guidotti, Ranieri Gherardi, Torpè Donati, Alessandro Gherardesca, Florido Galli, Niccolò Matas, and Pasquale Poccianti. The final reconstruction in 1859, completed after the suppression of the order, creates the clearer interior systematization of columns we see today.Studiolo of Francesco I
The Studiolo is a small painting-encrusted barrel-vaulted room in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. It was commissioned by Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. It was completed for the duke from 1570-1572, by teams of artists under the supervision of Giorgio Vasari and the scholars Giovanni Batista Adriani and Vincenzo Borghini.
This small room was part-office, part-laboratory, part-hiding place, and part-cabinet of curiosities. Here the prince tinkered with alchemy and kept his collection of small, precious, unusual or rare objects. The walls and ceiling were decorated with paintings showing a similar variety of subjects, some showing exotic forms of industry and others mythology. The inset paintings are now all that remains in the room of the original contents. They are rather larger than what is normally meant by the term cabinet painting.
The late-Mannerist decorative program of paintings and sculpture was based on items encompassed by the collection. The object collection itself was stored in ~ 20 cabinets. In the center is a fresco of Prometheus receiving jewels from nature, commenting on the interplay of divine, nature, and humanity, that is the goal of both artistic and scientific interests.Villa Giulia
This page describes the building in Rome. For the museum itself see National Etruscan Museum. For the Villa Giulia in Naples or Palermo, see Villa Giulia (Naples) or Villa Giulia (Palermo).The Villa Giulia is a villa in Rome, Italy. It was built by Pope Julius III in 1551-1553 on what was then the edge of the city. Today it is publicly owned, and houses the Museo Nazionale Etrusco, a collection of Etruscan art and artifacts.