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Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects (Everyman's Library) Hardcover – November 5, 1996


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Frequently Bought Together

Lives of the Painters, Sculptors and Architects (Everyman's Library) + Vasari on Technique (Dover Art Instruction) + The Craftsman's Handbook: "Il Libro dell' Arte"
Price for all three: $86.93

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 2208 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (November 5, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679451013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679451013
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 4.2 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #703,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By paedagogue on July 11, 2008
Format: Hardcover
all at once alien and familiar. Other, cheaper, heavily abridged, versions of this book are available, but if you want the complete rainbow of "famous Renaissance artist" biographies (and some not so famous), written by a fellow artist who actually knew many of the most important figures about whom he wrote (and not just artists: Vasari worked for popes and secular princes who also sponsored the greatest artists of the time), this is it, and really good value for the price. There is one omission in De Vere's early 20th-century rendering of Vasari's huge book: the fascinating Technical Preface with which Vasari introduced the actual historical narratives of the Lives. Fortunately, this is available in an affordable Dover edition (Vasari On Technique). Like his opinions on individual masters, Vasari's historical "facts" will always require current scholarly verification, especially with reference to the artists from the earlier phases of what Vasari called the era of "modern artistic style." But he's the closest we have to an articulate eyewitness account of that amazing time, and even his prejudices and misconceptions are full of interest.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David August on February 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's like this. If you have some casual interest in art history, particularly Renaissance art history, and most particularly Italian Renaissance art history, you've probably heard of Giorgio Vasari's "Lives."

Want my advice? Stop there.

Abridged editions are available (here I review the boxed two-volume unabridged edition from Everyman's Library), and those of more than a casual interest could just as well stop there, too. Vasari gave art history such terms as "Gothic," "Renaissance," and "Mannerist," and you can get all you want of that, and highlights of the most famous artists, from such abridgements.

This fully unabridged edition, while essential to those fascinated by such art history, is simply not worth it to those of lesser interest. Too much of it -- indeed, most all of it -- reads like an endless list, artist after artist, simply mentioning the works each did in each place. That makes it about as compelling a read as your local phone book. Worsening matters is that Vasari by his own admission was no writer, and the translator notes in his foreword that he has striven to recreate that fault. Simple fact is, this is dry and boring to read, and your eyes will quickly glaze over with dulled incomprehension as you try.

Those warnings aside -- don't say I didn't warn you! -- this is a handsome boxed edition, very attractive, with sewn-in bookmarks in each volume, a fine printing overall. And if you, like me, are determined to study such original sources in full, no matter how tedious, you will love this edition. From Duccio and Cimabue and Giotto forward, they're all here, with all their works detailed in endless, excruciating detail.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on June 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I took a Master's level Art History class on Giorgia Vasari at FSU a few years ago and this was the translation of the book that the professor wanted us to buy for the class. And for good reason. It's probably the most complete and accurate translation of Vasari's works out there and is downright affordable in this edition (yes $44 is affordable for this. It's a nice two volume edition with a slipcover to store the books in and the books themselves have a nice sturdy binding. If you have to buy a translation of Vasari's works or just want to explore what the first art historian wrote, you can't go wrong with this edition.
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