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Giorgio Vasari’s «Prefaces»

Art and Theory- With a foreword by Wolfram Prinz

Liana De Girolami Cheney

Giorgio Vasari’s Prefaces: Art and Theory provides students and scholars alike with the opportunity to study and understand the art, theory, and visual culture of Giorgio Vasari and sixteenth century Italy. For the first time all of Vasari’s Prefaces from the Lives of the Artists (1568) are included translated into English as well as in the original Italian. Also included is an English translation of Giovanni Battista Adriani’s letter to Giorgio Vasari enlightening Vasari on the art of the ancient masters.
Through the eyes of Vasari, this book captures the creative achievements of his fellow artists – how they adopt nature and the classical tradition as their muses and how they ingeniously interpret the secular and religious themes of the past and present. Vasari himself is lauded for the transformation of the artist from one of being a mere laborer to one who imbues his work with intellectual depth and is recognized as a creator of beautiful visual myths.

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List of Illustrations vii

Extract

Illustrations Unless indicated, all the illustrations from Giorgio Vasari’s Le vite de’ più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori, 1550 and 1568 editions are xylogra- phies from The Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I am grateful to the library and all the museum and gallery collections, listed below, and, in particular, to Art Resource in New York, for permitting me to have access to these images. 1. Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite, Title Page, 1550 ............................................271 2. Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite, Title Page, Part I and II, 1568 .......................272 3. Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite, Title Page, Part III, Volume I, 1568 ..............273 4. Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite, Title Page, Part III, Volume II, 1568 .............274 5. Giunti Press Emblem, Le Vite, Endpiece, 1568 ..................................275 6. Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite, Endpiece, 1550 .............................................276 7. Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite, Endpiece, 1568 .............................................277 8. Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite, Self-Portrait, Frontispiece, 1568...................278 9. Giorgio Vasari, Self-Portrait in his Vita, 1568.....................................279 10. Giorgio Vasari, Self-Portrait (Man in a Cloak Writing), 1555–65, drawing; Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence (Courtesy: Art Resource, NY)..............................................280 11. Giorgio Vasari with drawings by Filippino Lippi, Botticelli and Raffaellino del Garbo, page from Libro de’ Disegni, 1524–1568; Woodner Collection, 1991.190.1, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (Courtesy: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC) .................................................................................280 001_PreliminarySection:Cheney_Illustrations.qxd 12/12/2011 11:57 AM Page vii 12. Giorgio Vasari, Saint Luke Painting the Madonna and Child, 1560, drawing; Museo del Prado, Madrid...

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