The Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari

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Packed with facts, attributions, and entertaining anecdotes about his contemporaries, Vasari's collection of biographical accounts also presents a highly influential theory of the development of Renaissance art.

Beginning with Cimabue and Giotto, who represent the infancy of art, Vasari considers the period of youthful vigour, shaped by Donatello, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, and Masaccio, before discussing the mature period of perfection, dominated by the titanic figures of Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

This specially commissioned translation contains thirty-six of the most important lives as well as an introduction and explanatory notes.

About the Series:
For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Title : The Lives of the Artists
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 019283410X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 616 pages


Ted rated it ★★★☆☆

October 31, 2017

This 2005 Dover edition is an abridged version of a 1967 two volume edition of Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, often called today Lives of the Artists, or just “Vasari’s Lives”. The translation used is that of Mrs. Jonathan Foster (1851). The arti...

Darwin8u rated it ★★★★★

April 12, 2016

Men of genius sometimes accomplish most when they work the least, for they are thinking out inventions and forming in their minds the perfect idea that they subsequently express with their hands. ― Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects I normally don't...

Myles rated it ★★★★☆

March 02, 2016

Interesting to read about all the works that no longer exist. Also really useful in that it makes these larger-than-life artists at least semi-human. Lots of moments like this: "Then Michaelangelo made a model in wax of a young David with a sling in his hand, and began to work in S. Maria del Fio...

Loes rated it ★★★★★

July 02, 2016

Umpth time reread.

Þróndr rated it ★★★★★

March 19, 2017

"But what inflicted incomparably greater damage and loss on the arts than the things we have mentioned [Constantine’s move to Byzantium, invasions, etc.] was the fervent enthusiasm of the new Christian religion. After long and bloody combat, Christianity, aided by a host of miracles and the burni...

Emma rated it ★★★★☆

May 18, 2016

I absolutely love the Renaissance. The history, the art, the literature, everything. I find it fascinating and amazing. And windows into the history, like this book, are amazing. And, indeed, this book was wonderful. Vasari was architect to Duke Cosimo I de' Medici- he built the Uffizi gallery, th...

Amber rated it ★★★★☆

July 27, 2011

I read most of this when I was in college, studying art history. For fun. And maybe to impress my professor because I was taking a survey course of Italian Renaissance art. I got the 4 volume set from the library and read the whole first volume, parts of the 2nd and 3rd and the pretty much all of...

Hudsonab rated it ★★★☆☆

February 17, 2018

Overall, I quite enjoyed the varied lives depicted by Vasari. However, the more impactful point that I took from this book is Vasari's theories on the development of art. His prefaces are slightly long winded but they are the parts in which he sets forth his idea of the decline of art and it's ev...

David rated it ★★★★☆

June 22, 2017

Vasari here writes the definitive historical biographies of the great artists of the Renaissance. His approach is largely to provide a series of anecdotes ostensibly in chronological order rather than a continuous narrative flow as in modern biography, but the events he recounts are always fascin...

Beth rated it ★★★★☆

June 01, 2012

My undergraduate degree is in Art History so I've read my fair share of Art History books. It was interesting to me the way he presented artists which was very different than any Art History book I've ever read. Most Modern Art Historians tell you why the artist is important and what he or she di...

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