Top critical review
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on 21 May 2008
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 comprehensive and detailed.
Some of Vasari's 'facts' have been discredited over the years and so the reader should not take everything here as gospel and indeed should be using this as a supplementary text with other material to get the best use out of it. Nevertheless it remains an important contemporary text and one of the first books on 'art history' ever produced.
I have to admit that I found it extremely hard going. There are great long lists of works and their subjects and the patrons of artists which it is easy to get bored or confused by but there are some interesting snippets of humour and details of the artists lives and habits which can offer real illumination to what otherwise can be fairly dry.