GIORGIO VASARI ( 1511-74) was born in Arezzo, a town in central Italy. He was apprenticed at an early age to Michelangelo in Florence and became an ardent follower and admirer of his master's style. While in Florence, Vasari worked in the shops of Andrea del Sarto and Baccio Bandinelli and studied with members of the Medici family, establishing a relationship with the ruling class of what would eventually become the Grand Duchy of Tuscany that would endure throughout Vasari's life. In 1549-50 the first Torrentino edition of the Lives appeared. While Vasari continued to work on the second and definitive edition of the Lives after 1563, he also initiated a number of important architectural projects in Tuscany, designing the Uffizi Palace and remodelling Pisa Piazza dei Cavalieri, as well as becoming a major force behind the foundation of the Florentine Academy of Design. He was also involved in remodelling the churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce in Florence as well as decorating the ceiling of the Sala Grande in Florence Palazzo Vecchio. Finally, in 1568, the second revised and enlarged Giuntina edition of his Lives appeared. It was praised by Vasari's contemporaries and quickly became the single most important secondary source in the history of Italian Renaissance art, containing not only a wealth of facts and attributions but entertaining anecdotes about the private lives of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance.
JULIA CONAWAY BONDANELLA is Associate Director of the Honors Division at Indiana University. She is the author of Petrarch Dream Visions and Their Renaissance Analogues; co-editor of The Macmillan Dictionary of Italian Literature, co-editor and co-translator of The Italian Renaissance Reader, and translator and co-editor of Rousseau's Political Writings.
PETER BONDANELLA is Professor of Italian at Indiana University, what he teaches Renaissance literature and cinema, and Director of the Center for Italian Studies. He is the author of Machiavelli and the Art of Renaissance History, Francesco Guicciardini, and Italian Cinema: From Neorealism to the Present, editor of Federico Fellini: Essays in Criticism; co-editor of The Macmillan Dictionary of Italian Literature; co-translator of The Portable Machiavelli, The Decameron; and editor and co-translator with Julia Conaway Bondanella of Machiavelli The Prince and Discourses on Livy ( Oxford World's Classics).