Lives of Seventy of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 1

Lives of Seventy of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Lives of Seventy of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 1

Lives of Seventy of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Vasari's lives are the most important contribution evermade to the history of Italian art, and no annotated English edition of them has appeared since the year 1850. This in itself is excuse enough for the present work. in 1885 a single volume of notes, by Dr. Richter, was added to the five-volume edition of Mrs. Foster’s translation. But as these notes covered the entire series of “Lives,” necessarily but a modicum of the results of modern methods of study and research could be covered by them. the editors of the present edition have preferred to choose among biographies rather than to limit the number of the notes, believing that a relatively complete annotation of the most important “Lives” was desirable.

Many of Vasari’s “Lives” are valuable, but their difference in value is greatnterest of the biographies and the relative importance of the artists. Selection is a delicate matter and is always open to criticism from any special point of view. the student of archæology or manners may find much to interest him in the biographies of men whose artistic productions were comparatively valueless. the editors have taken these considerations into account, and in most cases have based their selection upon the relative importance of the artists in the evolution of Italian architecture, sculpture, and painting.

Fortunately the “Lives” which possess the finest literary quality, which manifest most clearly the sympathetic insight, impartiality, and critical faculty of Vasari, are also those devoted to the most celebrated artists. Many among these biographies, those, for instance, of Donatello, Brun-

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