The Artist Birthday Series

Giorgio Vasari

Giorgio Vasari: painter, architect, writer

Giorgio Vasari, (July 30, 1511 — June 27, 1574) was an Italian painter, architect, and writer who is most famous today for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.


Vasari was born in Arezzo, Tuscany. Recommended at an early age by his cousin Luca Signorelli of the nearby town of Cortona, he became a pupil of Guglielmo da Marsiglia, a skillful painter of stained glass. Later, at the age of 16, his decisive training was in Florence, where he enjoyed the friendship and patronage of the powerful and influential Medici family. He was sent to Florence by Cardinal Silvio Passerini, where he studied under the tutelage of Andrea del Sarto with his fellow pupils Rosso Fiorentino and Jacopo Pontormo, where his humanist education was encouraged. He was befriended by Michelangelo whose painting style would influence his own. (Many years later, it would be Vasari that designed the tomb of Michelangelo in the church of Santa Croce, one of the most visited spots in Florence.)

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