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The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Giorgio Vasari , Julia Conaway Bondanella , Peter Bondanella
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Aug 2008 Oxford World's Classics
Packed with facts, attributions, and entertaining anecdotes about his contemporaries, Vasari's collection of biographical accounts also presents a highly influential theory of the development of Renaissance art.

Beginning with Cimabue and Giotto, who represent the infancy of art, Vasari considers the period of youthful vigour, shaped by Donatello, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, and Masaccio, before discussing the mature period of perfection, dominated by the titanic figures of Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

This specially commissioned translation contains thirty-six of the most important lives as well as an introduction and explanatory notes.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Frequently Bought Together

The Lives of the Artists (Oxford World's Classics) + On Painting (Classics) + Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy: A Primer in the Social History of Pictorial Style (Oxford Paperbacks)
Price For All Three: 20.37

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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; Reissue edition (14 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199537194
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199537198
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 7.6 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"A book which has come to be recognised as the single most important contemporary source of information on hundreds of artists of the Italian Renaissance period."--Irish Independent

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece 14 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this to help with a talk I am giving on the Florentine Renaissance. I am finding the book really interesting as it provides insights into the masters way of life. It is very humorous at times and 'chatty' which helps bring things to life and provide useful anecdotes. He obviously adored Michelangelo. The section on Giotto was the most surprising as I really felt that I knew him and really liked him not only as an artist but as a human being by the time I was finished. Although no doubt there are many instances where the truth may be slightly different it is a fascinating read.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For A level and later on an invaluable book 27 April 2002
By A Customer
This book will appeal to either the history of art student or someone interested in Renaissance writings. A very useful book in that it offers a chance to see what a Mannerist artist thought about his contemporaries. It provides information on the fashions of the time and even insights into the very character of the artist, including some highly amusing stories and occasionally very biased points of view! If you can put a quote in an essay or exam then you will definately stand out as a good candidate.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars windows on another world 1 Feb 2009
By Jude
Excellent character descriptions of such masters, providing a picture of the man, the artist, how they lived their daily lives,how their work developed, who & what influenced them & how they saw their world.
However I did find the listings of each artists' known works rather tedious.
Am now approaching the best - Leonardo!
What hardships they suffered to achieve such genius!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vasari's The Lives of the Artists 1 Aug 2010
A must for anyone interested in the art of the Renaissance but should be read with a healthy dash of scepticism for the truth of anecdotal information. Very biased but good way of hearing the voice of a man who was very influential in shaping later opinion on the art history of the time and who, despite being a Michelangelo groupie, did at least know the man. Vasari's opinionated version of the 'lives' of the artists should be read in conjunction with later versions for anyone interested in what has been deduced from subsequent scholarship and it is of course a one volume version but well worth a read. This work is Vasari's lasting legacy - apart from designing the Ufizzi of course.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vasar Rules OK 9 Oct 2010
By Seeker
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent translation of Vasari giving a particular insight both into Vasari's biographies of the great artists but also to his theory of art - it may not be a contemporary theory but it is immensely interesting.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Would recommend 19 July 2011
I think the translator has done a very good job here and Vasari's charming mix of deference, child-like delight and gossip is brought very much to life. If I had the power to make my own edition of this work, I would use this translation, but make it an illustrated one. It doesn't seem possible to buy an illustrated version of this book at all today.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true friend to all good artists 10 Feb 2014
By Reader
Lively..witty..a masterpiece by the most venerable Vasari who writes with a timeless spirit and paints portraits of the best artists with his words. Rare. I find him excellent 'company' - and it is in my opinion a must for all artists who want to be connected to the soul of the beauty of the ages. A terrific translation.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Yet again another great book from you,, an addition to my art collection, thank you once again for your prompt service.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars You can download this for free elsewhere.
Gutenberg project has a free downloadable copy.
I bought this copy to look at Duerer but it only has a selection on the main lives in this edition which doesn't include... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Melanie
3.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
I had heard a lot about this book, during my art history classes on the Renaissance. Anyway, up till now I have only read the lives of Michelangelo, Tiziano and Leonardo da Vinci... Read more
Published on 8 Mar 2012 by Veronica Franco
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent follow-on from TV programme
My wife was really impressed with the TV programme about this particular artist; so to have a book describing his contacts and thoughts was excellent. Read more
Published on 13 Aug 2010 by Mr. G. Rogers
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
I am reading it the moment and am finding it very interesting, a good book to have
Arrived in good condition
Published on 12 July 2010 by Mo
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, however, lacks depth on some artists
I knew this book was covering a lot of artists in only 600 or so pages so i was not expecting too much depth into the lives of the artists. Read more
Published on 18 May 2010 by Al Zadeh
3.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Detailed
This is a long, long book with a great deal of information. Clocking in at over five hundred pages and covering about thirty artists of the Italian Renaissance, it is fairly... Read more
Published on 21 May 2008 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
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