About Lives of the Artists. Essays may be lightly modified for readability or to protect the anonymity of contributors, but we do not edit essay examples prior to publication. The Preface to Steppenwolf does this and much more. 82-summary . Of sculptures, likewise, they made an infinity, as may still be seen in low-relief over the door of S. Michele in the Piazza Padella of Florence, and in Ognissanti; and tombs and adornments in many places for the doors of churches, wherein they have certain figures for corbels to support the roof, so rude and vile, so misshapen, and of such a grossness of manner, that it appears impossible that worse could be imagined. Bibliography. The same could be said of S. Croce in Gierusalemme, which Constantine erected at the entreaty of his mother Helena, of S. Lorenzo without the walls of Rome, and of S. Agnesa, built by him at the request of Constantia, his daughter. Preface to the Lives. Constantine, so it is said, did the same in the garden of Æquitius, in making the temple which he afterwards endowed and gave to the Christian priests. It's more accurate to say that the Preface is the key to understanding the text. At the same time painting, which was little less than wholly spent, may be seen to have begun to win back something, as the mosaic shows that was made in the principal chapel of the said Church of S. Miniato. Beginning with the oldest and most important, I shall speak first of Agnolo called Bronzino, a Florentine painter truly most rare and worthy of all praise. Nay more, it not only destroyed, in order to build the churches for the Christian use, the most honoured temples of the idols, but in order to ennoble and adorn S. Pietro (to say nothing of the ornaments which had been there from the beginning) it also robbed of its stone columns the Mausoleum of Hadrian, now called the Castello di S. Angelo, and many other buildings that to-day we see in ruins. But in order that it may be understood more clearly what I call "old" and what "ancient," the "ancient" were the works made before Constantine in Corinth, in Athens, in Rome, and in other very famous cities, until the time of Nero, the Vespasians, Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus; whereas those others are called "old" that were executed from S. Silvester's day up to that time by a certain remnant of Greeks, who knew rather how to dye than how to paint. It is true, indeed, that he was not able to enjoy this booty, because,[Pg l] being carried by a sea-tempest to Sicily and being justly slain by his own men, he left his spoils, his kingdom, and his life a prey to Fortune. But because not the making of statues but their adoration was a deadly sin, we read in Exodus that the art of design and of statuary, not only in marble but in every kind of metal, was bestowed by the mouth of God on Bezaleel, of the tribe of Judah, and on Aholiab, of the tribe of Dan, who were[Pg xxxix] those that made the two cherubim of gold, the candlesticks, the veil, the borders of the priestly vestments, and so many other most beautiful castings for the Tabernacle, for no other reason than to bring the people to contemplate and to adore them. The essays in our library are intended to serve as content examples to inspire you as you write your own essay. Later, in Florence, architecture made some little progress, and the Church of S. Apostolo, that was erected by Charlemagne, although small, was most beautiful in manner; for not to mention that the shafts of the columns, although they are of separate pieces, show much grace and are made with beautiful proportion, the capitals, also, and the arches turned to make the little vaulted roofs of the two small aisles, show that in Tuscany there had survived or in truth arisen some good craftsman. At this time, likewise, was enlarged the Church of S. Maria in Grado, in honour of the said Hilarian, for the reason that he had been for a long time living in it when he went, with Donatus, to the crown of martyrdom. Nor, indeed, were the Chaldæans alone in making sculptures and pictures, but the Egyptians made them also, exercising themselves in these arts with that so great zeal which is shown in the marvellous tomb of the most ancient King Osimandyas, copiously described by Diodorus, and proved by the stern commandment made by Moses in the Exodus from Egypt, namely, that under pain of death there should be made to God no image whatsoever. The initial idea to write Lives of the Artists came to Giorgio Vasari from the writer Paolo Giovio who wished to write a treatise concerning contemporary artists at a party in the house of Cardinal Farnese. This allows our team to focus on improving the library and adding new essays. And for myself I do not doubt, from the expense which was clearly bestowed on that church, that if the Aretines had had better architects they would have built something marvellous; for it may be seen from what they did that they spared nothing if only they might make that work as rich and as well designed as they possibly could, and since, as has been already said so many times, architecture had lost less of its perfection than the other arts, there was to be seen therein some little of the good. Thus far have I thought fit to discourse from the beginning of sculpture and of painting, and peradventure at greater length than was necessary in this place, which I have done, indeed, not so much carried away by my affection for art as urged by the common benefit and advantage of our craftsmen. The same may be seen in the Church of S. Marco in Venice, which (to say nothing of S. Giorgio Maggiore, erected by Giovanni Morosini in the[Pg liii] year 978) was begun under the Doge Giustiniano and Giovanni Particiaco, close by S. Teodosio, when the body of that Evangelist was sent from Alexandria to Venice; and after many fires, which greatly damaged the Doge's palace and the church, it was finally rebuilt on the same foundations in the Greek manner and in that style wherein it is seen to-day, at very great cost and under the direction of many architects, in the year of Christ 973, at the time of Doge Domenico Selvo, who had the columns brought from wheresoever he could find them. the third part of the lives of the sculptors, painters, and architects, who have lived from cimabue to our own day. And if anything was wanting to complete this ruin, it was supplied to them amply by the departure of Constantine from Rome, on his going to establish the seat of the Empire at Byzantium; for the reason that he took with him not only all the best sculptors and other craftsmen of that age, whatsoever manner of men they were, but also an infinite number of statues and other works of sculpture, all most beautiful. What makes you cringe? Nay more, there had been lost at one and the same time all true men and every sort of virtue, and laws, habits, names, and tongues had been changed; and all these things together and each by itself had caused every lovely mind and lofty intellect to become most brutish and most base. From the things seen before the Flood, then, the pride of men found the way to make the statues of those for whom they wished that they should remain famous and immortal in the world. Click Order Now and get up to 30% Discount And although the Christian religion did not do this by reason of hatred that it bore to the arts, but only in order to humiliate and cast down the gods of the heathens, it was none the less true that from this most ardent zeal there came so great ruin on these honoured professions that their very form was wholly lost. Giorgio Vasari's Prefaces: Art and Theory provides students and scholars alike with the opportunity to study and understand the art, theory, and visual culture of Giorgio Vasari and sixteenth century Italy. Reading: Giorgio Vasari, “Preface to Part Three”, from The Lives of the Artists (Oxford University Press, 2008), ... 80- summary . Read article below then write a summary for each page I need you to read Reading: Giorgio Vasari, “Preface to Part Three”, from The Lives of the Artists (Oxford University Press, 2008), 277-283. The art of sculpture, then, was greatly exercised in Greece, and there appeared many excellent craftsmen, and, among others, Pheidias, an Athenian, with Praxiteles and Polycletus, all very great masters, while Lysippus and Pyrgoteles were excellent in sunk reliefs, and Pygmalion in reliefs in ivory, of whom there is a fable that by his prayers he obtained breath and spirit for the figure of a virgin that he made. The people of Lucca, about the same time—that is, in the year 1061—as rivals of the people of Pisa, began the Church of S. Martino in Lucca from the design of certain disciples of Buschetto, there being then no other architects in Tuscany. Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) is the Plutarch of Renaissance Italy. And that this is true is manifest, because the Church of the Prince of the Apostles on the Vatican was not rich save in columns, bases, capitals, architraves, mouldings, doors, and other incrustations and ornaments, which were all taken from various places and from the edifices built most magnificently in earlier times. Of this construction and of Alexander himself everything is fully told in nine Latin verses, and the same may be seen in certain other ancient letters engraved on the marble under the portico, between the doors. He, on descending from the mountain, having found the golden calf wrought and adored solemnly by his people, and being greatly perturbed to see Divine honours paid to the image of a beast, not only broke it and reduced it to powder, but for punishment of so great a sin caused many thousands of the wicked sons of Israel to be slain by the Levites. But what brought infinite harm and damage on the said professions, even more than all the aforesaid causes, was the burning zeal of the new Christian religion, which, after a long and bloody combat, with its wealth of miracles and with the sincerity of its works, had finally cast down and swept away the old faith of the heathens, and, devoting itself most ardently with all diligence to driving out and extirpating root and branch every least occasion whence error could arise, not only defaced or threw to the ground all the marvellous statues, sculptures, pictures, mosaics, and ornaments of the false gods of the heathens, but even the memorials and the honours of numberless men of mark, to whom, for their excellent merits, the noble spirit of the ancients had set up statues and other memorials in public places. All these buildings, as has been said, are both large and magnificent, but of the rudest architecture, and among them are many abbeys in France erected to S. Benedict, the Church and Monastery of Monte Casino, and the Church of S. Giovanni Battista at Monza, built by that Theodelinda, Queen of the Goths, to whom S. Gregory the Pope wrote his Dialogues; in which place that Queen caused to be painted the story of the Lombards, wherein it was seen that they shaved the back of their heads, and in front they had long locks, and they dyed themselves as far as the chin. And if in our own times it has been seen (as I trust to be able to demonstrate a little later by many examples) that simple children roughly reared in the woods, with their only model in the beautiful pictures and sculptures of nature, and by the vivacity of their wit, have begun by themselves to make designs, how much more may we, nay, must we confidently believe that these primitive men, who, in proportion as they were less distant from their origin and divine creation, were thereby the more perfect and of better intelligence, that they, by themselves, having for guide[Pg xliii] nature, for master purest intellect, and for example the so lovely model of the world, gave birth to these most noble arts, and from a small beginning, little by little bettering them, brought them at last to perfection? Their garments were of ample linen, as was the use of the Angles and[Pg lii] Saxons, and below a mantle of diverse colours; their shoes open as far as the toes and tied above with certain straps of leather. Truly this work was vast, of great cost, and difficult to execute, and above all the vaulting of the tribune, made in the shape of a pear and covered without with lead. Did not Attalus the same, who, in order to possess the picture of Bacchus painted by Aristides, did not scruple to spend on it more than 6,000 sesterces? And seeing that there has been made mention above of the Church of S. Apostolo in Florence, I will not forbear to say that on a marble slab therein, on one side of the high-altar, there may be seen these words: VIII. (Translated by Gaston du C. de Vere.) On the said façade are certain figures, and under the portico many scenes in marble from the life of S. Martin, in half-relief, and in the Greek manner. (And nope, we don't source our examples from our editing service! The example essays in Kibin's library were written by real students for real classes. He was also the first important collector of drawings, which he had used also as research material for his biographies. And something marvellous and almost wholly incredible is to be found recorded in an old book of the Works of the said Duomo, namely, that the columns of the said S. Giovanni, the pillars, and the vaulting were raised and completed in fifteen days and no more. And there had not yet come the Goths and the other barbarous and outlandish peoples who destroyed, together with Italy, all the finer arts. When citing an essay from our library, you can use "Kibin" as the author. Besides this, whosoever examines with diligence the medals of Constantine and his image and other statues made by the sculptors of that time, which are at the present day in the Campidoglio, may see clearly that they are very far removed from the perfection of the medals and statues of the other Emperors; and all this shows that long before the coming of the Goths into Italy sculpture had greatly declined. The missing information about Vasari’s family life is unsettling precisely because Vasari tended to view artists as if they made up a big … And although those before them had seen remains of arches, of colossi, of statues, of urns, and of storied columns in the ages that came after the sackings, the destructions, and the burnings of Rome, and never knew how to make use of them or draw from them any benefit, up to the time mentioned above, the minds that came after, discerning well enough the good from the bad and abandoning the old manners, turned to imitating the ancient with all their industry and wit. These craftsmen, as the best, being the only ones in these professions, were summoned to Italy, whither they brought sculpture and painting, together with mosaic, in that style wherein they[Pg lvii] knew them; and even so they taught them rudely and roughly to the Italians, who afterwards made use of them, as has been told and will be told further, up to a certain time. From such beginnings, then, these arts commenced to grow better in design throughout Tuscany, as is seen in the year 1016, from the commencement made by the people of Pisa for the building of their Duomo, seeing that in those times it was a great thing for men to put their hands to the construction of a church made, as this was, with five naves, and almost wholly of marble both within and without. After the departure of Constantine, the Cæsars whom he left in Italy, building continually both in Rome and elsewhere, exerted themselves to make their works as fine as they could; but, as may be seen, sculpture, as well as painting and architecture, went ever from bad to worse, and this perchance came to pass because, when human affairs begin to decline, they never cease to go ever lower and lower until such time as they can grow no worse. In like manner, the magnificent Church of S. Giovanni Laterano, erected by the same Emperor, can bear witness to the same—namely, that in his day sculpture had already greatly declined; for the image of the Saviour and the twelve Apostles in silver that he caused to be made were very debased sculptures, wrought without art and with very little design. Learn by example and become a better writer with Kibin’s suite of essay help services. And as if aught were wanting to this grievous misfortune, there arose against Rome the wrath of Totila, who, besides razing her walls and destroying with fire and sword all her most wonderful and noble buildings, burnt the whole city from end to end, and, having robbed her of every living body, left her a prey to flames and fire, so that there was not found in her in eighteen successive days a single living soul; and he cast down and destroyed so completely the marvellous statues, pictures, mosaics, and works in stucco, that there was lost, I do not say only their majesty, but their very form and essence. VASARI'S LIVES (1550)* Thomas Frangenberg O ne of the most stimulating insights in recent Vasari scholarship is the observation that Vasari's Lives, first published in i5 o, is a far less monolithic text than has generally been assumed.' He prominently contemplates on the Italian art in which almost everyone aspired to overachieve. The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (Italian: Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori), also known as The Lives (Italian: Le Vite), is a series of artist biographies written by 16th-century Italian painter and architect Giorgio Vasari, which is considered "perhaps the most famous, and even today the most-read work of the older … These biographies of the great quattrocento artists have long been considered among the most important of contemporary sources on Italian Renaissance art. But because Fortune, when she has brought men to the height of her wheel, is wont, either in jest or in repentance, to throw them down again, it came about after these things that there rose up in various parts of the world all the barbarous peoples against Rome; whence there ensued after no long time not only the humiliation of so great an Empire but the ruin of the whole, and above all of Rome herself, and with her were likewise utterly ruined the most excellent craftsmen, sculptors, painters, and architects, leaving the arts and their own selves buried and submerged among the miserable massacres and ruins of that most famous city. Painting, likewise, was honoured and rewarded by the ancient Greeks and Romans, seeing that to those who made it appear marvellous they showed favour by bestowing on them citizenship and the highest dignities. For having seen in what way she, from a small beginning, climbed to the greatest height, and how from a state so noble she fell into utter ruin, and that, in consequence, the nature of this art is similar to that of the others, which, like human bodies, have their birth, their growth, their growing old, and their death; they will now be able to recognize more easily the progress of her second birth and of that very perfection whereto she has risen again in our times. Not unlike to these, too, was the church that the King of the Lombards, Luitprand (who lived in the time of King Pepin, father of Charlemagne), built in Pavia, which is called S. Pietro in Cieldauro; nor that one, likewise, that Desiderius built, who reigned after Astolf—namely, S. Pietro Clivate, in the diocese of Milan; nor the Monastery of S. Vincenzo in Milan, nor that of S. Giulia in Brescia, seeing that they were all built at the greatest cost, but in the most ugly and haphazard manner. And so all that the Pontiffs had not destroyed (and above all S. Gregory, who is said to have decreed banishment against all the remainder of the statues and of the spoils of the buildings) came finally, at the hands of that most rascally Greek, to an evil end; in a manner that, there being no trace or sign to be found of anything that was in any way good, the men who came after, although rude and boorish, and in particular in their pictures and sculptures, yet, incited by nature and refined by the air, set themselves to work, not according to the rules of the aforesaid arts, which they did not know, but according to the quality of their own intelligence. * But when once the writers began to make record of things that were before their day, they could not speak of those whereof they had not been able to have information, in a manner that there came to be first with them those of whom the memory had been the last to be lost. These figures by the hand of Niccola Pisano show how much improvement there came from him to the art of sculpture. So, too, it may be seen that although at the time of Pope Liberius the architects of that day strove to do something great in constructing the Church of S. Maria Maggiore, they were yet not happy in the success of the whole, for the reason that although that building, which is likewise composed for the greater part of spoils, was made with good enough proportions, it cannot be denied any the less, not to speak of certain other parts, that the frieze made right round above the columns with ornaments in stucco and in painting is wholly wanting in design, and that many other things which are seen in that great church demonstrate the imperfection of the arts. Already Wolfgang Kallab, in his extremely detailed book on the Lives published However, he asked Vasari to provide him all the relevant information and gradually passed the whole idea to him. Vasari's Lives of the Artists. Even as the first of the poets, by common consent, is said to be Homer, not because there were none before him, for there were, although not so excellent, which is seen clearly from his own works, but because of these early poets, whatever manner of men they were, all knowledge had been lost quite 2,000 years before. But according to what Pliny writes, this came to Egypt from Gyges the Lydian, who, being by the fire and gazing at his own shadow, suddenly, with some charcoal in his hand, drew his own outline on the wall. For, as has been already said above, it appears most ancient among the Chaldæans, some give it to the Ethiopians, and the Greeks attribute it to themselves; and it may be thought, not without reason, that it is perchance even more ancient among the Etruscans, as our Leon Batista Alberti testifies, whereof we have clear enough proof in the marvellous tomb of Porsena at Chiusi, where, no long time since, there were discovered underground, between the walls of the Labyrinth, some terracotta tiles with figures on them in half-relief, so excellent and in so beautiful a manner that it can be easily recognized that the art was not begun precisely at that time, nay rather, by reason of the perfection of these works, that it was much nearer its height than its beginning. - Alfredo Alvarez, student @ Miami University. And the Greeks, who think differently about this origin, say that the Ethiopians invented the first statues, as Diodorus tells; that the Egyptians took them from the Ethiopians, and, from them, the Greeks; for by Homer's time sculpture and painting are seen to have been perfected, as it is proved, in discoursing of the shield of Achilles, by that divine poet, who shows it to us carved and painted, rather than described, with every form of art. Thus, then, the first model whence there issued the first image of man was a lump of clay, and not without reason, seeing that the Divine Architect of time and of nature, being Himself most perfect, wished to show in the imperfection of the material the way to add and to take away; in the same manner wherein the good sculptors and painters are wont to work, who, adding and taking away in their models, bring their imperfect sketches to that final perfection which they desire. This is a 10-volume translation of Vasari's biographies of Italian artists, issued in London by Macmillan and the Medici Society between 1912 and 1915. seeing that in our own day—that is, in the year 1554—there has been found a bronze figure of the Chimæra of Bellerophon, in making the ditches, fortifications, and walls of Arezzo, from which figure it is recognized that the perfection of that art existed in ancient times among the Etruscans, as may be seen from the Etruscan manner and still more from the letters carved on a paw, about which—since they are but few and there is no one now who understands the Etruscan tongue—it is conjectured that they may represent the name of the master as well as that of the figure itself, and perchance also the date, according to the use of those times. Many years after, when the Christians were persecuted under Julian the Apostate, there was erected on the Cœlian Mount a church to S. John and S. Paul, the martyrs, in a manner so much worse than those named above, that it is seen clearly that the art was at that time little less than wholly lost. LibriVox recording of Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects Vol 4 by Giorgio Vasari. PREFACE TO THE THIRD PART Giorgio Vasari Truly great was the advancement conferred on the arts of architecture, painting, and sculpture by those excellent masters of whom we have written hitherto, in the Second Part of these Lives, for to the achievements of the early masters they added rule, order, proportion, draughtsmanship, and manner not, indeed, in complete … And the men of those times, not being used to see other excellence or greater perfection in any work than that which they themselves saw, marvelled and took these for the best, for all that they were vile, until the spirits of the generation then arising, helped in some places by the subtlety of the air, became so greatly purged that about 1250, Heaven, moved to pity for the lovely minds that the Tuscan soil was producing every day, restored them to their first condition. Thither, having, so to speak, despoiled the world, in course of time they assembled the craftsmen themselves as well as their finest works, wherewith afterwards Rome became so beautiful, for the reason that she gained so great adornment from the statues from abroad more than from her own native ones; it being known that in Rhodes, the city of an island in no way large, there were more than 30,000 statues counted, either in bronze or in marble, nor did the Athenians have less, while those at Olympia and at Delphi were many more and those in Corinth numberless, and all[Pg xli] were most beautiful and of the greatest value. Here are some ways our essay examples library can help you with your assignment: Read our Academic Honor Code for more information on how to use (and how not to use) our library. These, among others, were the Visigoths, who, having created Alaric their King, assailed Italy and Rome and sacked the city twice without respect for anything whatsoever. In short, for these and many[Pg xlvi] other reasons it is clear how much, in the time of Constantine, sculpture had already declined, and together with it the other finer arts. I do not, indeed, wish to deny that there was one among them who was the first to begin, seeing that I know very well that it must needs be that at some time and from some one man there came the beginning; nor, also, will I deny that it may have been possible that one helped another and taught and opened the way to design, to colour, and relief, because I know that our art is all imitation, of nature for the most part and then, because a man cannot by himself rise so high, of those works that are executed by those whom he judges to be better masters than himself. Similar to these were most, nay, all of the buildings that were erected in Italy from the times aforesaid up to the year 1250, seeing that little or no acquisition or improvement can be seen to have been made in the space of so many years by architecture, which stayed within the same limits and went on ever in that rude manner, whereof many examples are still to be seen, of which I will at present make no mention, for the reason that they will be spoken of below according to the occasions that may come before me. Sign up In like manner the good sculptures and pictures which had been buried under the ruins of Italy remained up to the same time hidden from or not known to the men boorishly reared in the rudeness of the modern use of that age, wherein no other sculptures or pictures existed than those which a remnant of old Greeks were making either in images of clay or stone, or painting monstrous figures and covering only the bare lineaments with colour. The Romans themselves bore so great reverence for these arts that besides the respect that Marcellus, in sacking the city of Syracuse, commanded to be paid to a craftsman famous in them, in planning the assault of the aforesaid city they took care not to set fire to that quarter wherein there was a most beautiful painted panel, which was afterwards carried to Rome in the triumph, with much pomp. In his preface to the book, Vasari clarifies that his wish is to "maintain the arts in life". The Lives of the Most Excellent Italian Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, from Cimabue to Our Times, or Le Vite delle più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori, as it was originally known in Italian, is a series of artist biographies written by 16th century Italian painter and architect Giorgio Vasari, which is considered "perhaps the most famous, and even today … Because people, especially the artisans, centered their lives around and idealized humanism … It looks like you've lost connection to our server. Giorgio Vasari is important in art history because he's considered to be the 'father of art history.' Is this question part of your assignment? Throughout the Lives, Vasari told stories that were true in spirit if not in pedantic fact, like the writers of novelle, the genre of short stories at which Italian authors excelled. But the best, which are over one of the doors, were made 170 years after by Niccola Pisano and finished in 1233, as will be told in the proper place; the Wardens, when these were begun, being Abellenato and Aliprando, as it may be clearly seen from certain letters carved in marble in the same place. In architecture and sculpture, Vasari stated that the key principles were the rule, order, proportion, and design. Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects by Giorgio Vasari translated by Gaston du C. De Vere. The same, too, did the Vandals, having come from Africa with Genseric, their King, who, not content with his booty and prey and all the cruelties that he wrought there, carried away her people into slavery, to their exceeding great misery, and among them Eudoxia, once the wife of the Emperor Valentinian, who had been slaughtered no long time before by his own soldiers.