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Giorgio Vasari

Updated on December 1, 2016

Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, architect and art writer. Born in Arezzo, Tuscany on July 30, 1511

He studied under Luca Signorelli, Michelangelo and Andrea del Sarto. The Cardinal Ippolito de Medici, Pope Clement VII and the Dukes Alessandro and Cosmo of Florence, successively engaged him in their service. As an architect he showed great ability, and two of his designs, that of the Palazzo degli Uffizi at Florence and that of the church of Abbadia at Arezzo, are among the best of his time. As a painter he was less successful. His principal paintings are a Lord's Supper, in the cathedral of Arezzo, and several works in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and in the Vatican in Rome.

He has himself given us an account of his different works in Florence, Arezzo, Pisa, Venice, Bologna, Rome, etc. They exhibit all the faults of the late Florentine style. His work on the Vite de' piit eccellenti Pittori, Scultori ed Architetti (Lives of Painters, Sculptors and Architects) is of great value. He, however, fell into many errors respecting the earlier masters, owing to the imperfection of existing accounts, and he has also been accused of partiality toward Tuscan artists. The work was first printed in 1550 and an enlarged and improved edition appeared in 1568. The latter forms the basis of all subsequent editions, such as that of Milanesi (Florence, 8 vols., 1878). An English translation by Mrs. Foster has been published in five volumes; another is to be found in the Bohn Library, and a third, by Blashfield, was published in New York.

Giorgio Vasari died in Florence, June 27, 1574.


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