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Giorgio Vasari

Giorgio Vasari lived from 1512 to 1574 and was a friend and biographer of many of the great Renaissance painters, sculptors, and architects. Vasari himself was an artist of no little note and managed to form a group of artists who would be described as the first mannerist "school," the Vasari school:

He trained pupils in such large numbers, and in such an adaptable and flexible spirit, that they were suited in every respect to spreading his version of mannerism throughout Italy and beyond. . .

Vasari's book Lives of the Great Painters would be even more influential and would present the artists to future generations. Among the documents from this book are his accounts of Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael.

Da Vinci is described by Vasari as a man whose versatility was a handicap because it prevented him from concentrating on any one pursuit to the degree necessary to perfect it. Today we speak of the Renaissance man, and by this we mean someone like Leonardo da Vinci who can do many things well. We see this as a strength rather than a handicap, but Vasari did not, stating of Leonardo:

He would without doubt have made great progress in the learning and knowledge of the sciences had he not been so versatile and changeful. The instability of his character led him to undertake many things, which, having commenced, he afterwards abandoned.

Vasari was one of several biographers of artists during the Renaissance, but he is the best known of these biographers today, so well known that his role as a painter is all but ignored today. Indeed, this shows that Vasari himself was somewhat a Renaissance man, dedicated not only to his art but to his writing on the lives of other artists. Vasari and the other writers on the subject at the time provide some positive as well as negative data on the general understanding of art and the particular appreciation of the artist during the Renaissance period. Vasari lived during what is called ...

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Giorgio Vasari. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 17:10, December 07, 2021, from