Vasari, Giorgio

Vasari, Giorgio jôrˈjō väzäˈrē [key], 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), which began with Cimabue and ended with Michelangelo. 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). Though much of Vasari's information is incorrect or embellished, his work is the basic source of our knowledge of Renaissance and mannerist artists. He is most enlightening in the discussion of his contemporaries and less trustworthy for 14th- and 15th-century artists. A mannerist himself, Vasari 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 biography by I. Rowland and N. Charney (2017); study by E. Rud (1963).

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