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), which began with CimabueCimabue, Giovanni
, d. c.1302, Florentine painter, whose real name was Cenni di Pepo or Peppi. The works with which his name is associated constitute a transition in painting from the strictly formalized Byzantine style, hitherto prevalent in Italy, to the freer expression of
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 and ended with MichelangeloMichelangelo Buonarroti
, 1475–1564, Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet, b. Caprese, Tuscany. Early Life and Work

Michelangelo drew extensively as a child, and his father placed him under the tutelage of Ghirlandaio, a respected artist of the day.
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. 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). Though much of Vasari's information is incorrect or embellished, his work is the basic source of our knowledge of Renaissance and mannerist artists. He is most enlightening in the discussion of his contemporaries and less trustworthy for 14th- and 15th-century artists. A mannerist himself, Vasari 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 biography by I. Rowland and N. Charney (2017); study by E. Rud (1963).

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Vasari, Giorgio

The Uffizi Palace, his only significant work, is Mannerist in style.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Giorgio Vasari (1511-74), Tuscan painter, architect, art collector and writer, is best known for his Le Vite de' piu eccellenti architetti, pittori e scultori italiani, da Cimabue insino a' tempi nostri (Lives of the Most Excellent Architects, Painters and Sculptors of Italy, from Cimabue to the present time).
Vasari's Neoplatonic association of the relationship between humanity and divinity derives from his humanistic studies on the writings of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), Marsilio Ficino (1433-99), and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-94) (Cheney Giorgio Vasari's Teachers, 34-60; Blum 127-35; Pico della Mirandola).
Pillsbury also called attention to the documentary disagreements, cited above, regarding the commission of this work to Giorgio Vasari. In fact, the painter declared having painted the work at his own expense, and having received 30 scudi; however, in the documents of the Monastery it is recorded to have cost 50 scudi.
From Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists to contemporary artist monographs and documentary films little has changed: social context is often viewed as being of nothing more than anecdotal interest.
In 1568 Giorgio Vasari added a section to the technical introduction of his Lives that explained the use of drawing in painting, sculpture and architecture, known as the arts of disegno.
They were devised by Vincenzo Borghini and designed by and under the aegis of Giorgio Vasari (Even).
Spagnolo argues that it is a genuine reading of Allegri's art and his career based on firsthand information that Lando collected from friends in the artist's hometown, Correggio, thus marking Lando's independence from Giorgio Vasari's 1550 life of Allegri.
The earliest example on display is the barrel-chested Christ in a drapery study for The Last Judgment (1499-1500) by Fra Bartolommeo --credited by Giorgio Vasari with pioneering the use of 'large as life' wooden jointed models--and a catalogue of 180 appearances follows, in sketches, paintings, photographs, film and 'the flesh'.
The cultural, political and artistic context of this ancient figure is an important one for the study of Giorgio Vasari, for he, too, played a key role in the promulgation of this image type.
Reilly's article continues the focus on Cellini's writings, but redirects it to his treatise on the art of drawing, arguing that the work "reveals the tensions and strife that existed among the members of the newly founded artists' academy" (26), in particular among Cellini and Alessandro Allori and Giorgio Vasari.
Giorgio Vasari writes in The Lives of the Artists (1550-68) that Piero painted 'many very beautiful panel pictures with little figures', while employed by the Duke of Urbino, but due to the ravages of war most of these had already 'come to grief by Vasari's day.