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Artists Giorgio di Antonio Vasari

Giorgio di Antonio Vasari

Italian Painter, Architect, and Art Historian

Giorgio di Antonio Vasari Photo
Movements and Styles: High Renaissance, Mannerism

Born: July 30, 1511 - Arezzo, Italy

Died: June 27, 1574 - Florence, Italy

"This disegno, when it brings forth a creative idea form our critical faculty, requires a hand ready and able, thanks to years of study and practice, to draw and to express well whatever thing Nature has created, with a pen, a stylus, a charcoal stick, a pencil..."


Missing the so-called High Renaissance period of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael by almost a generation, Giorgio di Antonio Vasari emerged around the 1530s as an important link in the development of Italian Renaissance art. He is well respected as a painter and architect, especially in his frescos and his use of the Mannerism style to intensify his biblical narratives. Yet most commentators would agree that his great contribution to the history of Western art history came not via an artwork at all, but rather via a tome: The Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, first published in 1550. In The Lives (as it has become known), Vasari introduced for the first time the now familiar art historical convention of using biological models to bring meanings to specific artworks. According to scholar Andrew Ladis, Vasari turned Michelangelo (in particular) into "the triumphant savior of the arts, a figure of light" as he put it. Presenting a view on the Renaissance which persists to this day, The Lives decreed Vasari's era as the "rebirth" of art after the fall of Rome, with the works by proto-Renaissance artist Giotto representing the beginnings of art's aesthetic ascent.

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