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Vasari on Technique (Dover Art Instruction) Paperback – February 17, 2011

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Vasari on Technique (Dover Art Instruction) + The Craftsman's Handbook: "Il Libro dell' Arte" + On Divers Arts (Dover Art Instruction)
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Art Instruction
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (February 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 048620717X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486207179
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #810,233 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Giorgio Vasari (1511–1571) is well known for his celebrated work on the lives of the Renaissance artists. But not many people know that Vasari was a painter and architect as well as a biographer, and that he wrote one of the most valuable treatises on the technical methods of the painters, architects, and sculptors of his time. This is the first and only English translation of this important technical material (originally published in 1550 as an introduction to Vasari's Lives of the Artists).
Vasari, as a practical craftsman, brings to his work as unusual understanding of the processes and materials he writes about, and conveys this knowledge to the reader in a style of the pleasantest and most readable kind. In the section on architecture, he describes the methods used in constructing rustic fountains and grottos; how Michelangelo developed new uses for architectural materials; the architectural uses of enriched plaster; the Renaissance view of Ionic, Doric, Gothic, and other types of architecture; and many similar topics.
In the selection on sculpture, the reader will learn about the making of the model, completion of the statue, reliefs, bronze casting, modelled plaster work, sculpture in wood, and other processes. The final section, on painting, discusses aesthetics, perspective, foreshortening, how colors were blended, fresco painting, painting in tempera, oil painting, and much more.
Scholars and historians of art have long used this book as the most detailed and valuable sourcebook of its time. But its full, readable discussions, combined with the sense of actuality and historical presence it contains, make it also perhaps the best possible description of the Renaissance artists in the heyday of their achievement.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Joe on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Vasari On Technique is a translation from the Italian of the original by Giorgio Vasari he himself a painter and architect of the fifteenth century.

This 328 page book translated by Louisa S.Maclehose with an introduction and notes by Professor G. Baldwin Brown must find its place in everyone's home who is interested how the arts of architecture, painting and sculptor were carried out at the beginning of the Renaissance. In fact most of the details described are still followed today. I must add here that the translator went to great lengths to make this book as reliable as can be. She researched all the artists mentioned by Vasari and even lists the places were the various works of art mentioned are located today.

In the chapter dealing with architecture the author goes on to great lengths in describing the various types of stone used at the time, how they were cut from the quarries and finished. How a piece of architectural design must possess to be perfect with a special reference to ancient Greek work.

On dealing with sculptor here too he describes the way marble - the arch material for sculptor at the time (and in a way it still is) is carved and polished to attain the lifelike representation. Vasari describes so well the technique that even those who are not familiar with the subject will understand the process. Clay and other stones are given their due importance.

Painting is the last item tackled. This includes stained glass, niello, enamel work and others too many to list. Oil, tempera and fresco are also tackled and explained the how to they were carried out. How colours were ground and mixed with oil or egg is another interesting item in the book.
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