Master Giorgio Vasari : Arezzo origins
Giorgio Vasari was born in Arezzo on July 30, 1511, to Antonio Vasari, a textile merchant, and Maddalena Tacci.
He attended at a very young age the Arezzo workshop of Guillaume de Marcillat-the author of the marvelous painted stained-glass windows in the Cathedral of San Donato-and simultaneously the lessons of the polygraph Giovanni Pollio Lappoli. Vasari received an early humanistic education with him and began to try his hand at architectural work, designing and building the base of the Duomo.
Master Giorgio Vasari and his studies
Vasari continued his studies in Florence, where he found himself in the retinue of Cardinal Silvio Passerini, tutor of the scions of the house of Medici-the future Cardinal Ippolito and Duke Alessandro.
Young Giorgio deepened his humanistic stufi during this period, passing under the tutelage of the man of letters Pietro Valeriano. Vasari then attended the workshop of Andrea del Sarto and the drawing academy of Baccio Bandinelli, artists who succeeded in passing on to him such essential skills as expertise in drawing and the ability to perceive perspective.
Vasari will remember the Florentine one as the happiest period of his life, but he moved from here for a year, between 1531 and ’32, to Rome with his friend Francesco Salviati. The two friends studied here the great ancient monuments and the works of Giants of Italian Art such as Raphael and Michelangelo.
Vasari would continue to study all his life, becoming an exalted intellectual and producing an enormous amount of works.
The Literary Production of Master Giorgio Vasari
Vasari authored the “Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori” – or simply “The Lives”a collection of artistic biographies published in 1550. The “Lives” is a most important work, as it is the first organic book of art history to have come down to us in history. The work is also one of the most important sources for biographical information on a great many artists at the turn of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Master Giorgio Vasari and architecture
Vasari designed, among many others, one of the most famous and visited buildings in the world: the Uffizi complex in Florence.
The complex, which includes the famous Uffizi Gallery and theVasarius Corridor hosts to this day one of the most important and vast art collections in the world, and is built with sublime craftsmanship. It turns out to be so marvelous that it is difficult to convey in words the feelings of admiring it in person.
In Arezzo it is possible to appreciate the Vasarian Loggias that we find as we enter Piazza Grande from Via di Corso Italia. Although not as monumental and famous as the Uffizi, the Loggias are still a beautiful sight that perfectly introduces us to the beauty of Arezzo’s most important square.
Vasari was also a rather prolific and active painter, though not as excellent as some of his more famous contemporaries in the field. However, the aretino can be considered one of the major Tuscan-Roman mannerists and as such was particularly influential in the Veneto region. In fact, Vasari went to Venice in 1541 to serve as set designer for the theatrical staging of Pietro Aretino’s Talanta.
Vasari also left traces of his painting in Rome, in the famous Sala dei Cento Giorni and the Sala Regia in the Vatican.
Today in Arezzo
In Arezzo today, it is possible to learn more about this illustrious Aretine at the Museum of Casa Vasari ,the natal home of the famous Architect . Vasari himself called it “A house begun in Arezzo, with a site for making beautiful gardens in the borgo San Vito, in the best air of the city.”
Frescoes painted by Vasari himself can be admired in the palace, and it is definitely a recommended destination for all visitors to the city.