June 17th, 2010

Travels With Vasari

Andrew Graham Dixon's Travels with Vasari is a bit of an eye-opener.  I now know that most of what they taught me in school about renaissance art history- how medieval art was benighted until Giotto came along and how he handed the baton to Masaccio and how each artist in a fated succession progressed that little bit further until the summit of achievement was reached by the divine Michelangelo- all this and more ( the slight uncertainty as to where to place the Venetians, the grudging admiration for Correggio, the sidelining of the northern Europeans) are pure Vasari- and Vasari was a cheer-leader for his native Florence. If Vasari hadn't written his amazing book, would it ever have occured to us to tell the story of art this way?

File:159 le vite, giorgio vasari.jpg