In his Lives of artists of the Italian Renaissance, Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) demonstrated a literary talent that outshone even his outstanding abilities as a painter and architect, revealing both a deep understanding of human nature and perceptive responses to great works of art. Through character sketches and anecdotes he depicts Piero di Cosimo shut away in his derelict house, living only to paint; Giulio Romano's startling painting of Jove striking down the giants; and his friend Francesco Salviati, whose biography also tells us much about Vasari's own early career. Vasari's original and soaring vision, and his acute aesthetic judgements, have made him one of the most influential art historians of all time.
In his introduction, George Bull discusses Vasari's life and works, and his development as an artist. This edition includes notes on the artists by Peter Murray and suggestions for further reading.