An instant success upon its publication in the mid-sixteenth century, Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists remains one of the principal resources for study of the art and artists of the Italian Renaissance. Nothing of the scope and magnitude of this work had ever been conceived; the first complete history of modern art, it is widely regarded as the most influential art history book ever written. The Lives' colorful and detailed portraits of the most representative figures of Italian painting and sculpture trace the flowering of the Renaissance across three centuries. This single-volume edition of selections from Vasari's immense work features eight of the book's most noteworthy artists: Giotto, Masaccio, Fra Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian. It also includes an introduction, notes, and glossary; as well as woodcut portraits of each artist by Vasari himself. Students, teachers, and art enthusiasts will find this convenient edition an indispensable resource.
A painter and architect in his own right, Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) achieved immortality for this book on the lives of his fellow Renaissance artists, first published in Florence in 1550. Although he based his work on a long tradition of biographical writing, Vasari infused these literary portraits with a decidedly modern form of critical judgment. The result is a work that remains to this day the cornerstone of art historical scholarship. Spanning the period from the thirteenth century to Vasari’s own time, the Lives opens a window on the greatest personalities of the period, including Giotto, Brunelleschi, Mantegna, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian. This Modern Library edition, abridged from the original text with notes drawn from earlier commentaries, as well as current research, reminds us why The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects is indispensable to any student interested in Renaissance art.
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