Giorgio Vasari has been variously called the father of art history, the inventor of artistic biography, and the author of “the Bible of the Italian Renaissance”—a little book called The Lives of the Artists. It’s a touchstone for scholars looking to get a peek at life in Michelangelo’s day, and quite fun, too, depending on whose wildly embellished life you’re reading. Ingrid Rowland joins us on the podcast to tell the story of the man behind the men of the Renaissance that we know so well—and, of course, to gossip a bit about Florentine egos, and even a few naughty monkeys.
Go beyond the episode:
- Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney’s The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art
- Page through a scanned 1568 copy of The Lives of the Artists on Archive.org (beautiful even if you don’t read Italian)
- Explore the Palazzo Vecchio, which includes dozens of Vasari’s works, on the Google Art Project
- Or take a hilarious video tour of the Palazzo Vecchio—which Vasari renovated and lined with his own paintings—with “Giorgio Vasari” (played by an actor far more attractive than Vasari was in real life)
- Can’t book a ticket to Florence? The Uffizi offers a virtual tour of its halls, also designed by Vasari
Tune in every two weeks to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.
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Our theme music was composed by Nathan Prillaman.
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