Giorgio Vasari

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Vasari, Giorgio

(jôr`jō väzä`rē), 1511–74, Italian architect, writer, and painter. He is best known for his entertaining biographies of artists, Vite de' più eccellenti architetti, pittori e scultori italiani (1550, rev. ed. 1568). The standard modern edition is that annotated by Gaetano Milanesi (1878), translated into English by Gaston de Vere as Lives of the Artists (10 vol., 1912–14). Vasari is most enlightening in the discussion of his contemporaries and less trustworthy for 14th- and 15th-century artists. His work is the basic source of our knowledge of Renaissance and mannerist artists. A mannerist himself, he executed paintings in the Palazzo Vecchio at Florence and the Sala Regia in the Vatican and made portraits of the Medici. His major architectural works include the Uffizi in Florence and churches and palaces in Arezzo and in Pisa.


See study by E. Rud (1963).

Vasari, Giorgio

The Uffizi Palace, his only significant work, is Mannerist in style.

Vasari, Giorgio


Born July 30, 1511, in Arezzo; died June 27, 1574, in Florence. Italian architect, painter, and art historian. Representative of mannerism.

Vasari studied under B. Bandinelli in Florence, and his aesthetic outlook developed under the influence of Michelangelo. He founded an academy of drawing in Florence (1562). Vasari built the Piazza dei Cavalieri in Pisa (1562), his own home (1542) and the Logge (1573-81) in Arezzo, and others. His principal work is the Uffizi Ensemble in Florence (1560-85), with its narrow street-corridor between the Signoria Plaza and the bank of the Arno River. Vasari’s paintings include frescoes in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence (from 1555), in the Sala Reggia in the Vatican in Rome (1571-73), and elsewhere. He is the author of The Lives of the Most Eminent Italian Architects, Painters, and Sculptors (1550; 2nd ed., 1568), which is important for its very rich factual material as well as for its evaluation of the progressive role of art during the period of the Renaissance.


Zhizneopisaniia naibolee znamenitykh zhivopistsev, vaiatelei i zodchikh [vols. 1-4]. Moscow, 1956-70.


Vseobshchaia istoriia arkhitektury, vol. 5. Moscow, 1967. Pages 238-44.
Studi Vasariani. Florence, 1952.
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