A Vasari Companion


Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, first published in 1550, is arguably the first book ever written about art history.  Vasari was himself a well-known and successful painter and architect who knew personally many of the artists about whom he wrote, including Michelangelo and Titian.  As a knowledgeable insider.  he had unusual access to artists' studios and to private collections.  Hence Vasari's Lives remains a key source of historical information about art of the Italian Renaissance, written by someone who was there.
Vasari's revised and expanded 1568 edition of the Lives covered about 160 artists and filled three volumes--more than even many art historians care to read--so most readers rely on abridged editions that include selections from the full work.  It is certainly possible to read the text by itself for information and entertaining anecdotes.  However, Vasari mentions hundreds of specific works in the text, most of which have survived to the present.  A Vasari Companion seeks to promote a more satisfying reading experience by making available pictures of selected works mentioned in the text.  The Companion was originally created for members of our six-person book club, which read Volume I of Bull's translation together in 2006.

I hope you enjoy it!

A Vasari Companion (PDF, 31.2 MB)

User's Guide

Thomas Koepsell