Skip to content

Book received: The Ashgate Research Companion to Giorgio Vasari

26 February 2014
  • Edited by David J. Cast, Bryn Mawr College, USA
  • The Ashgate Research Companion to Giorgio Vasari brings together the world’s foremost experts on Vasari as well as up-and-coming scholars to provide, at the 500th anniversary of his birth, a comprehensive assessment of the current state of scholarship on this important-and still controversial-artist and writer. The contributors examine the life and work of Vasari as an artist, architect, courtier, academician, and as a biographer of artists. They also explore his legacy, including an analysis of the reception of his work over the last five centuries.

    Among the topics specifically addressed here are an assessment of the current controversy as to how much of Vasari’s ‘Lives’ was actually written by Vasari; and explorations of Vasari’s relationships with, as well as reports about, contemporaries, including Cellini, Michelangelo and Giotto, among less familiar names. The geographic scope takes in not only Florence, the city traditionally privileged in Italian Renaissance art history, but also less commonly studied geographical venues such as Siena and Venice.

  • Contents: Introduction, David J. Cast; Vasari’s Vite as a collaborative project, Charles Hope; Vasari and Vincenzo Borghini, Robert Williams; Giorgio Vasari: artist, designer, collector, Liana di Girolami Cheney; Vasari’s Vita of Giotto, Norman E. Land; Vasari’s 1569 Life of Masaccio, Perri Lee Roberts; Who is the author of Michelangelo’s Life?, William E. Wallace; Vasari’s literary artifice and the triumph of Michelangelo’s David, Paul Barolsky; Bizarre painters and bohemian poets: poetic imitation and artistic rivalry in Vasari’s biography of Piero di Cosimo, Karen Hope Goodchild; Giorgio Vasari and the art of Siena, Ann C. Huppert; Venice and the perfection of the arts, Marjorie Och; Giorgio Vasari and Francesco Salviati: friendship and art, Melinda Schlitt; Rivals with a common cause: Vasari, Cellini and the literary formulation of the ideal Renaissance artist, Victoria C. Gardner Coates; Vasari on imitation, Sharon Gregory; Vasari and the rhetoric of decorum, Robert W. Gaston; Rewriting Vasari, Lisa Pon; Vasari’s Lives and the Victorians, Hilary Fraser; Bibliography; Index.
  • About the Editor: David J. Cast is Professor of the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College, USA.
  • Reviews: ‘David Cast ably introduces the multi-talented Vasari, fully setting the stage for the sixteen essays that follow analyzing individual biographies or Vasari’s account of a city’s artistic production. Other essays deal with more general topics like the issue of Vasari’s collaborators in writing the Lives or Vasari as an artist, designer and collector, or aesthetic terminology in the Lives. The span is comprehensive and yet comprised of specialized essays that primarily focus on Vasari as a writer, a choice that makes sense as the biographies are his major legacy. Like Cast, the essay writers are leading authorities in the field, making this an indispensable analysis of Vasari’s contribution.’
    Sarah Blake McHam, Rutgers University, USA

    ‘The Ashgate Research Companion to Vasari brings together an immensely wide-ranging, multi-faceted, and thought-provoking series of essays on a whole range of aspects of the Lives of the Artists. It is bound to prove essential reading for anyone seriously interested in the history of the history of Italian Renaissance art.’
    David Ekserdjian, Professor of History of Art and Film, University of Leicester

  • Extracts from this title are available to view:

    Full contents list



Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: