The Lives of the Artists

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Paperback, 478 pages
Penguin Books, Inc., 1965
1976 Reprint Penguin Classics First Edition

Vasari's Lives of the Artists stretches from Cimabue and Giotto down to the golden epoch of Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo.  Vasari (1511-74) was himself a painter, but his fame rests on these biographies in which he gathered together all the current knowledge of the Florentine artistic heritage and triumphantly fused it with contemporary Italian theories of art.  As a critic Vasari is impressive, and time has added immense historical importance to the great popular success his work achieved from the start.  

A selection translated by George Bull

The cover shows a detail from a painting of Florence by Vasari in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence (Cnark International)

About the Author

Giorgio Vasari (1511– 1574) was an Italian painter, architect, engineer, writer, and historian, best known for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing, and the basis for biographies of several Renaissance artists, including Leonardo da Vinci.