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  • Published: 1 March 2006
  • ISBN: 9780375760365
  • Imprint: Random House USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • RRP: $32.99

Lives Of The Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, And Architects



The first comprehensive history ever written of the greatest period of the world’s art.

Giorgio Vasari's Renaissance masterpiece of art history, LIVES OF THE MOST EXCELLENT PAINTERS, SCULPTORS, & ARCHITECTS, was first published in 1568. Vasari's history tells how Italian artists, starting with Cimabue and culminating with Michelangelo, reconstructed the lost art of ancient Rome and Greece, rediscovering the principles of beauty. Vasari gives us an image of the transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. He breaks down this time period into three major parts: the 14th century was a period of infancy (and the works of Giotto), the 15th century a period of adolescence (and the works of Masaccio), and the 16th century as a period of maturity (and the works of da Vinci). It is these artists that light the way out of the darkness of the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. Translated by Gaston Du C. De Vere. Edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by Philip Jacks.

  • Published: 1 March 2006
  • ISBN: 9780375760365
  • Imprint: Random House USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • RRP: $32.99

About the author

Giorgio Vasari

Giorgio Vasari was born in 1511 at Arezzo in Tuscany. While still a boy he was introduced to Cardinal Silvio Passerini who put him to study in Florence with Michelangelo — who later became a close friend — then with Andrea del Sarto. He left Florence when his patron, Duke Alessandro, was assassinated, and wandered round Italy filling his notebooks with sketches; it was during this period that he conceived the idea of the Lives. By now, in his thirties, Vasari was a highly successful painter and when his Lives were published they were received enthusiastically.

He returned to Florence in 1555 to serve Duke Cosimo who appointed him architect of the Palazzo Vecchio. After a grand tour of Italian towns he published the revised and enlarged edition of his Lives in 1568. Vasari spent the rest of his life in a glow of self- satisfaction and public recognition, and in 1971 he was knighted by Pope Pius V. He died in 1574.

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Praise for Lives Of The Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, And Architects

‘Vasari is the unrivaled critic of Italian art, and one of the great prose writers of Italy.’ Bernard Berenson

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