The Early Modern World, C. 1300–1600


Who was Giorgio Vasari?

Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) was a mediocre painter and a more successful architect, but his real legacy was the biographies he wrote about important Renaissance artists: Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (often referred to as Lives of the Artists). It is through Vasari that we are introduced to the early Renaissance artists Cimabue and Giotto, and hear the details of disputes between Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. The book covers artists from Fra Angelico to Titian, Donatello to Salviati. Despite the book being filled with bias towards Italian artists, embellished stories, and historical inaccuracies, the impact his work had on art history and Renaissance scholarship cannot be ignored.


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