Lives of the Artists

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Penguin Books Limited, 1987 - Art - 478 pages
35 Reviews
Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) was an accomplished painter and architect, but it is for his illuminating biographies that he is best remembered. Beginning with Cimabue and Giotto in the thirteenth century, he traces the development of Italian art across three centuries to the golden epoch of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Great men, and their immortal works, are brought vividly to life, as Vasari depicts the young Giotto scratching his first drawings on stone; Donatello gazing at Brunelleschi's crucifix; and Michelangelo's painstaking work on the Sistine Chapel, harassed by the impatient Pope Julius II. The Lives also convey much about Vasari himself and his outstanding abilities as a critic inspired by his passion for art.
George Bull's introduction discusses Vasari's life and influences, and the political and historical background of sixteenth-century Florence. This volume also includes notes on the artists by Peter Murray and a list for further reading.

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Review: The Lives of the Artists

User Review  - Zachary Lytle - Goodreads

Read this in my twenties while studying to become a painter. I was totally, romantically enthralled and never thought to question any of it (and I don't regret that). This book has a lot to do with a ... Read full review

Review: Lives of the Artists: Volume 1

User Review  - Carolynn - Goodreads

This would be my 'Desert Island' book - I've loved it and lived in it since I was 16. Read full review

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About the author (1987)

Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) was an accomplished painter and architect, but it is for his illuminating biographies that he is best remembered. George Bull translated widely from the Italian, including for Penguin Classics including Cellini's 'Autobiography' and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'. He is also the author of a number of books on the Renaissance.

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