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Lives of the Artists: A Selection v. 1 (Classics) Paperback – 27 Aug 1987


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Lives of the Artists: A Selection v. 1 (Classics) + Stories of Art + Difference and Excess in Contemporary Art: The Visibility of Women's Practice (Art History Special Issues)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (27 Aug. 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140445005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140445008
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.3 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) was an accomplished painter and architect, but it is for his illuminating biographies that he is best remembered.

George Bull translated widely from the Italian, including for Penguin Classics including Cellini's 'Autobiography' and Machiavelli's 'The Prince'. He is also the author of a number of books on the Renaissance.


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The flood of misfortunes which continuously swept over and submerged the unhappy country of Italy not only destroyed everything worthy to be called a building but also, and this was of far greater consequence, completely wiped out the artists who lived there. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Howard on 15 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This remarkable man changed the face of Florence forever with his design to replace the Stocks next to the Palazzo Vecchio with a huge suite of offices - later to become the Uffizi Art Gallery, he also drew up the plans for the private walkway from the Old Medici palace home to their new residence the Pitti Palace - and took it upon himself to negotiate with all the owners of towers, palaces and churches that came in the way of the new passage, he painted the interior of the dome of the Duomo and the ceilings of the main rooms of the Palazzo Vecchio - and yet he still found time to research and write two large volumes of Essays about the most important artists and sculptors of the Renaissance in such a clear and compelling way that they are still in print nearly 500 years later .... think on that all ye who complain that you have no time to read...!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy W Morgan on 28 Nov. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
6 CDs with the Lives of the Artists written by Giorgio Vasari. Apparently the book was first published in 1550 but I can not stop feeling that it was written yesterday. I suppose art is timeless. It is a perfect night stories set for somebody who is lying in bed with eyes wide open and also I am learning quite a lot in such an easy and pleasant way. As early Renaissance
is my favourite period of art with frescoes and egg tempera as main media.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jo Donachie on 10 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fascinating insight into the club of florentine painters, full of anecdotes. This is a delightful read, surprisingly accessible, almost chatty in style, while providing a wealth of information on the concerns and priorities of artists at this time
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Star on 28 May 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book
Just like to know it's there in case I want to read it again and again and again
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 0 reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Extremely readable, contemporary account of his peers 6 July 1999
By John L Haynes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Vasari was a life-long correspondent of Michaelangelo, a contemporary of Leonardo, etc., so the accounts are written about his friends and comnpetitors, not 100+ years later, thru the prism of time. Yet this translation is in readable, 20th Century English.
The chapters on Brunelleschi, Donato, etc. are lively, entertaining as well as instructive. MUST reading for anyone going to Italy, or to see works of the Florentine artists.
(N.B. I am an engineer who never had a fine arts class, ever!)
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Giorgio Vasari - Lives of the Artists Volume One 24 Jun. 2008
By Ayla M. Amon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good introduction to Medieval, Renaissance, and Mannerist artists written by someone who lived around their time and had actual contact with some of the artists, as well as personal painting experience. He is, however, colored by his personal relationships with the artists, hyperbolic, and constrained by the Zeitgeist of the era. In exploring the relationships of artist and patron he is able to shed light on their social situation and the constant struggle of the elevation of the art of painting among the liberal arts. In English, some of the grandeur of his writing is lost, and it lacks the poetic ease of the Italian original. If you want a fuller version, I suggest (especially for bilingual speakers) a translation with the Italian original on the other side of the page.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Lives of the Artists by Vasari 4 Oct. 2011
By S. Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Printed originally in Italian in the mid-sixteenth century, this book is considered not only the first history of art but also the first to put into words the process of growth and rebirth that characterized the Renaissance. Vasari writes about artists who were, for the most part, his contemporaries. He knew of their work and their lives, if not first-hand then by reputation or by association. The little stories he weaves into their lives give insight into each artist's personality. Though Vasari does try to make them all fit the mold of the Renaissance man, he shows us the chinks in the facade.
For Any Renaissance Lover! 20 Feb. 2014
By Lemery - Published on Amazon.com
Format: MP3 CD Verified Purchase
I have several translations of Vasari's Lives and this was the most readable. I recommend the audio version as it really helped brings Vasari's anecdotes about the various artists quirks to life! I loved it!
Excellent 31 Mar. 2015
By Lyle J. Matey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best books that go into detail about the lives of such artists and sculptors as Michaelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo de Vinci and Filippo Brunelleschi. A must read for any artist and historian.
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