Giorgio Vasari


May 4 / July 7, 2024

“Per gloria dell’arte et honor degli Artefici”

Giorgio Vasari, artist and writer

curated by Elisa Boffa

Biblioteca Città di Arezzo
via dei Pileati, 8
Free admission
Opening hours

from Monday to Sunday
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM / 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

In the spaces of the Municipal Library, an exhibition of some of the bibliographic treasures stored in its catalog – ancient texts, prints, and manuscripts – that document, in five dedicated sections, the origins of the family and the upbringing of the young Vasari, his work as an architect and painter, and the various editions of his most famous literary work, “The Lives.”

In the first section, “The Origins and the Family,” the genealogy of Vasari is highlighted, starting from his great-grandfather Lazzaro, who is featured in “The Lives” with a dedicated portrait. Also displayed are the colored coat of arms of the Vasari family along with an engraved portrait of the artist. This section is completed with works by Giovanni Lappoli and Paolo Giovio, who played a significant role in the artist’s recognition during his lifetime.
The second section, “Vasari as Architect and Painter,” showcases some aspects of his works, including a manuscript detailing the contract with his autograph signature for the large panel depicting the Banquet of Esther and Ahasuerus, signed on July 13, 1548, with the abbot of the monastery of Sante Flora e Lucilla. In this contract, Vasari committed to creating “a panel twelve braccia long and six high, to serve as decoration for the monastery’s refectory.” Regarding his architectural work, two manuscripts (Palliani and Sinigardi) are exhibited, which record the laying of the cornerstone for the construction of the Logge di Piazza Grande.
The third section, “The Lives, a Bestseller of the Modern Era,” documents the numerous editions of this monumental work, which marks the beginning of the history of modern art, starting from the 1568 edition printed in Florence by Giunti, following the first edition of 1550 by Torrentino, which was less successful. The section “Other Writings by the Artist” includes additional works by Vasari such as “I Ragionamenti,” published posthumously in 1588 by his nephew Giorgio the Younger, and the 1762 edition from Arezzo by Michele Bellotti.
Also on display is a 20th-century edition of the “Poems,” contained in manuscript Riccardiano No. 2948.
The final section, “Homo vapor est: Vasari and His Legacy,” is dedicated to various writings and contributions dedicated to Vasari after his death until the 20th century, from Landucci to Cesare Guasti to Alessandro Del Vita and Karl Frey.
This last part concludes with manuscript 27, which contains the record of Vasari’s death on June 27, 1574.

May 4 / July 7, 2024

“Per gloria dell’arte et honor degli Artefici”

Giorgio Vasari, artist and writer

curated by Elisa Boffa

Biblioteca Città di Arezzo
via dei Pileati, 8
Free admission
Opening hours

from Monday to Sunday
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM / 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

In the spaces of the Municipal Library, an exhibition of some of the bibliographic treasures stored in its catalog – ancient texts, prints, and manuscripts – that document, in five dedicated sections, the origins of the family and the upbringing of the young Vasari, his work as an architect and painter, and the various editions of his most famous literary work, “The Lives.”

In the first section, “The Origins and the Family,” the genealogy of Vasari is highlighted, starting from his great-grandfather Lazzaro, who is featured in “The Lives” with a dedicated portrait. Also displayed are the colored coat of arms of the Vasari family along with an engraved portrait of the artist. This section is completed with works by Giovanni Lappoli and Paolo Giovio, who played a significant role in the artist’s recognition during his lifetime.
The second section, “Vasari as Architect and Painter,” showcases some aspects of his works, including a manuscript detailing the contract with his autograph signature for the large panel depicting the Banquet of Esther and Ahasuerus, signed on July 13, 1548, with the abbot of the monastery of Sante Flora e Lucilla. In this contract, Vasari committed to creating “a panel twelve braccia long and six high, to serve as decoration for the monastery’s refectory.” Regarding his architectural work, two manuscripts (Palliani and Sinigardi) are exhibited, which record the laying of the cornerstone for the construction of the Logge di Piazza Grande.
The third section, “The Lives, a Bestseller of the Modern Era,” documents the numerous editions of this monumental work, which marks the beginning of the history of modern art, starting from the 1568 edition printed in Florence by Giunti, following the first edition of 1550 by Torrentino, which was less successful. The section “Other Writings by the Artist” includes additional works by Vasari such as “I Ragionamenti,” published posthumously in 1588 by his nephew Giorgio the Younger, and the 1762 edition from Arezzo by Michele Bellotti.
Also on display is a 20th-century edition of the “Poems,” contained in manuscript Riccardiano No. 2948.
The final section, “Homo vapor est: Vasari and His Legacy,” is dedicated to various writings and contributions dedicated to Vasari after his death until the 20th century, from Landucci to Cesare Guasti to Alessandro Del Vita and Karl Frey.
This last part concludes with manuscript 27, which contains the record of Vasari’s death on June 27, 1574.

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