The Lives of the Artists

The Lives of the Artists

3.78 (17,856 ratings by Goodreads)
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This is a new translation, specially commissioned for the World's Classics, of a work that has influenced the visual imagination of generations of art lovers. The book represents one of the most important contemporary sources on Italian Renaissance art. Vasari's collections of biographical accounts are filled with facts, attributions, and anecdotes about hundreds of artists, ranging from the greatest figures (Giotto, Masaccio, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo) to those known today only to the specialist. While the work has been read for centuries as background to the period's art, it also contains a highly influential theory of the development of Renaissance art. Vasari viewed the late 13th and 14th centuries, represented by Cimabue and Giotto, as the infancy of art, followed by a period of youthful vigour, shaped by Donatello, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, and Masaccio, and subsequently by the mature period of perfection, dominated by the titanic figures of Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo. It was Vasari who invented the term "rebirth" in discussing the period's artistic production, and he is thus indirectly responsible for the use of the term Renaissance as a period style. This edition contains a new translation of 36 of the most important more

Product details

  • Paperback | 611 pages
  • 116 x 182 x 30mm | 322.05g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford Paperbacks
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Italian
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 019281754X
  • 9780192817549

Table of contents

Cimabue; Giotto; Simone Martini; Duccio; Jacopo della Quercia; Luca della Robbia; Paolo Uccellop Ghiberti; Masaccio; Filippo Brunelleschi; Donatello; Piero della Francesca; Fra Angelico; Leon Battista Alberti; Antonello da Messina; Fra Filippo Lippi; Andrea del Castagno and Domenico Veneziano; Domenico Ghirlandaio; Sandro Botticelli; Andrea del Verrocchio; Mantegna; Pinturicchio; Perugino; Luca Signorelli; Leonardo da Vinci; Giorgione; Raphael; Properzia de'Rossi; Rosso Fiorentino; Giulio Romano; Domenico Beccafumi; Jacopo Pontormo; Michelangelo; Titian; the author - to artists of the art of more

Review Text

This is the starting-point for anyone wanting to know about Renaissance lives and times. First published in 1550, it contains biographies of some of the major artists living and working in Renaissance Italy. There are explanations of how the different artists work, how they live, contemporary feuds, patronage in 15th-century Italy (what patrons wanted and why), personal anecdotes, and descriptions of some of the works. Vasari's own opinion is very personal and personalities really come to life. He was a renowned 16th-century painter, architect and courtier himself (although succeeding generations do not show so much enthusiasm for his work), thus in an ideal position to monitor the work of his peer group. And he can be credited with the beginnings of the study of art history as we understand it. (Kirkus UK)show more

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17,856 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
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4 28% (5,048)
3 22% (3,899)
2 9% (1,536)
1 6% (1,079)
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