Giorgio Vasari, Florentine painter and architect, friend of Michelangelo and intimate of the Medici, is best known for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, published in 1550 and in an enlarged edition in 1568. With more than two hundred biographies, it has for centuries been recognized as a seminal text in art history and one of the most important sources on the Italian Renaissance.
It is to Vasari that we owe much of our knowledge of Raphael (1483–1520), who in his day was considered perhaps the greatest painter of all time. Rich in colorful anecdotes, TheLife of Raphael is important for its sustained attention to the range of Raphael’s art, whose chronology and development Vasari describes in detail, together with the painter’s ample love life and spectacular social career. It also pays attention, unprecedented for its time, to theoretical issues.
This edition, introduced by the scholar Jill Burke, includes 22 pages of color illustrations covering the entire span of Raphael’s oeuvre.
Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) was a Florentine architect and painter; in addition to his great Lives, his best-known works are the frescoes in the Palazzo Vecchio. Jill Burke is a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, where she specializes in the art and history of Renaissance Rome and Florence. Her first book, Changing Patrons: Social Identity and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Florence, was published in 2004.