Lives of the Painters, Vol 3

Vasari, Giorgio. Lives of the Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. Vol. 3 Translated by A.B. Hinds. London: J.M. Dent & Sons, Ltd., 1927.

A glance through the table of contents led me to believe Vasari was on a mission to cram as many painters, sculptors and architects as he could into this third volume. Many of the chapters contain more than one artist and a few chapters contain the words “and others.” It’s almost as if volume three was supposed to be the last one and he didn’t want to miss anyone. Like previous volumes
Vasari continues the habit of getting sidetracked talking about other artists. He brings himself back to the main artist with “to return to (fill in artist here).” He definitely has a formula for writing about the artists and this formula can be dull at times but every once in awhile Vasari will include a tidbit of the artist’s personal life that gives depth to the biography. I especially liked reading about Da Vinci’s newphew Piero (or Pierino).

Quotes I liked, “But he [Francisco Mazzuoli] wasted time in seeking for what could never be found, and neglected his art to the detriment of his life and reputation” (p 6). As an aside, it was Mazzuoli who stood painting while Rome was being sacked. The Germans were so taken by his art that they let him continue to paint while they pillaged around him. Another quote I liked, “When no longer able to work, and worn out by old age, he rendered his soul to God in 1546” (p 66). One more and this is just a phrase, Michelannolo’s chapel “a stew of nudes” (p 90). Don’t you just love it?

Reason read: Continuing the Lives of the Painters series started in October to honor National Art month.

Author fact: I’ve run out of things to say.

Book trivia: Volume III contains the portrait of Giorgio Vasari which was nice to see (although he reminds me of my father-in-law).

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Ciao, Italia” (p 46).

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