Lives of the Painters Vol 2Posted: 2012/11/09
Vasari, Giorgio. The Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects, Vol 2. Translated by A.B. Hinds. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd, 1927.
I have to be honest. I was not looking forward to volume two of Vasari’s work. For starters, there were a lot of mistakes in volume one and for another it was a little on the boring side. Okaaaay. It was a lot on the boring side! But I am determined to stick it out and get through all four volumes, even if it kills me. Disclaimer, like with volume one I am skipping any biography that contains an error in volume two.
There is not introduction to the second volume. We just jump right into the biographies, starting with Fra Filippo Lippi, Painter of Florence (?1406 – 1469). Vasari doesn’t waste any time getting to the juicy parts of a painter’s life, “He remained so for two days, but overcome by his amorous and bestial desires, he cut up his sheet with a pair of scissors, and, letting himself down out the window, devoted many days to his pleasures” (p 3). Ooh la la. But, don’t get too excited. There aren’t that many personal facts for the rest of the biographies. Vasari, for the most part, sticks to who painted or sculpted what. One good thing about volume two is that it includes Botticello and Da Vinci, two artists I was looking forward to reading about.
Favorite quote. This is a little lengthy but tell me, does it not inspire you to go look at some art? This is from Antonio Pollajuolo: “He always copied Nature as closely as possible, and has here represented an archer drawing the bowstring to his breast and bending down to charge it, putting all the force of his body into the action, for we may see the swelling of his veins and muscles and the manner in which he is holding his breath” (p 81).
Book Trivia: There were not as many errors in this volume!
Reason read: A continuation of the series started in honor of Art Month (September).
BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Ciao, Italia” (p 46).