Vasari, Giorgio (1511-1574)

"Vasari, Giorgio (1511-1574)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

Giorgio Vasari, Italian painter, architect and art writer, was born in Arezzo in 1511 and died in Florence in 1574. He worked as a painter in Florence in 1524 and in Rome in 1531. The travel to Venice in 1541 gave him an opportunity to know the frescoes by G.Romano, Correggio and Titian. Among the works of this period are: Madonna with the Child and Saints (church of Camaldoli, 1537); Jesus in house of Mary and Martha and other paintings for Chiesa di S.Michele in Bosco (Bologna); frescoes in his house of Arezzo (1542); Purification of Mary (1545, Mus. Capodimonte, Napels). In 1542-46 he returned in Rome and became a member of a circle of writers organized by Alessandro Farnese, which inspired his first great painting work: a cycle of frescoes in Palazzo della Cancelleria. Here he also got to know Michelangelo in person.
Self-portrait
G.Vasari: Self-portrait

Between execution of different orders he traveled a lot collecting information about Italian painters starting from 1540. Pius V invited him to decorate Sala Regia in Vatican with the scenes of a battle at Lepanto (finished in 1573).

In 1550 he returns to Florence and at the same year the first edition of "Lives of the most excellent architects, sculptors and painters ..." (pictured) was issued.
vasari vite
Vasari became the main character in the series of artistic and cultural initiatives promoted by Cosimo I in Florence: arrangement of Galleria degli Uffizi (1560), as a scenographic connection between Piazza della Signoria with the Palazzo Pitti; restoration and decoration of Palazzo Vecchio (salone del Cinquecento, 1563, studiolo di Francesco I, 1570-72). Vasari also founded an Academy of design in 1561. In 1568 was issued the second edition of "Lives" comprehending the contemporary artists as well. This book remained the base of the artistic historiography till our days.

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