Giorgio Vasari and The Lives of the Italian Artists

Giorgio Vasari was a talented artist, architect, engineer and event planner. He also wrote one of the most important texts for art history, The Lives of the Italian Artists. From Cimabue and Giotto down to the contemporaries he most admired – Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael – Vasari knew Italian art inside out and his gossipy tales continue to be a source of amusement and scholarly research. We explore this great artist’s life and times, his motivations for writing, and the conclusions that we can draw about Italian art, based on his meticulous research, site visits and modern reinterpretation.


DELIVERY MODE

  • This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom.
  • This course requires students to have an email, a reliable internet connection, a microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Vasari, Giorgio. The Lives of the Italian Artists. Any edition, and also available online: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/metabook?id=livespainters
  • Barolsky, Paul. Why Mona Lisa smiles and other tales by Vasari. Pennsylvania State University Press, 1991.
  • Boase, TSR. Giorgio Vasari: the man and the book. Princeton University Press, 1979.
  • Cast, David J. The Ashgate Research Companion to Giorgio Vasari. Ashgate, any edition.
  • Charney, Noah and Ingrid Rowland. The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the invention of art. Norton, 2017.
  • Cochrane, Eric W. Florence in the forgotten centuries, 1527-1800. University of Chicago Press, 1973.
  • Gahtan, Maia W. and others (eds.). Giorgio Vasari and the birth of the museum. Ashgate, 2014.
  • Jacks, Philip J. Vasari’s Florence: artists and literati at the Medicean court. Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • Rubin, Patricia Lee and Maurice Rubin. Giorgio Vasari: art and history. Yale University Press, 1995. Some material available online at books.google.com
  • Satkowski, Leon George. Giorgio Vasari: architect and courtier. Princeton University Press, 1993.
  • The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has a number of useful essays, including www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/vefl/hd_vefl.html


COURSE OUTLINE

  • An introduction to Giorgio Vasari’s life and career
  • Vasari and the Medici
  • The structure and publication history of The Lives of the Italian Artists
  • Tales from Vasari: great Italian artists, between biography and legend
  • Vasari today: modern art history and The Lives


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Discuss the life and times of Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574).
  2. Identify the publication history and modern relevance of The Lives of the Italian Artists.
  3. Discuss the historical context of 16th-century Italy.
  4. Formally analyse key Italian artworks, 1250-1550.
$110 Limited / $99

<p>Giorgio Vasari was a talented artist, architect, engineer and event planner. He also wrote one of the most important texts for art history, <em>The Lives of the Italian Artists</em>. From Cimabue

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15 Aug

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