Vasari, Giorgio

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Vasari, Giorgio

Giorgio Vasari (jôr´jō väzä´rē), 1511–74, Italian architect, writer, and painter. He is best known for his entertaining biographies of artists, Vite de' più eccellenti architetti, pittori e scultori italiani (1550, rev. ed. 1568). The standard modern edition is that annotated by Gaetano Milanesi (1878), translated into English by Gaston de Vere as Lives of the Artists (10 vol., 1912–14). Vasari is most enlightening in the discussion of his contemporaries and less trustworthy for 14th- and 15th-century artists. His work is the basic source of our knowledge of Renaissance and mannerist artists. A mannerist himself, he executed paintings in the Palazzo Vecchio at Florence and the Sala Regia in the Vatican and made portraits of the Medici. His major architectural works include the Uffizi in Florence and churches and palaces in Arezzo and in Pisa.

See study by E. Rud (1963).

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