Happy Birthday Giorgio Vasari! The painter, architect, collector, and influential author was born on this day in 1511 in Arezzo. A successful painter and architect in the service of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’Medici, Vasari is best known today for his Lives of the Artists, a collection of biographies from Cimabue through his autobiography. Published in two editions (1550/1568), the text has had a profound impact on the development of connoisseurship, art history, and Italian Renaissance studies.

St. Luke Painting the Virgin, Photo credit: Web Gallery of Art.
Self-Portrait, between 1550 and 1567. Florence: Uffizi. Photo credit: Web Gallery of Art
Last Judgment, 1572-9, Florence: Duomo. Photo credit: Web Gallery of Art.
Cosimo I de’ Medici among the Artists of his Court (1563), fresco ceiling painting by Giorgio Vasari, Sala dei Cinquecento, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence; Photo credit: Scala/Art Resource, NY

For more on Vasari, see: Julian Kliemann and Antonio Manno. “Vasari.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web.[http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T088022pg1].

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