Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects, Vol. 01 (of 10) / Cimabue to Agnolo Gaddi

Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects, Vol. 01 (of 10) / Cimabue to Agnolo Gaddi

Author:
Giorgio Vasari
Author:
Giorgio Vasari
Format:
epub
language:
English

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Author: Vasari, Giorgio, 1511-1574
Artists — Italy — Biography
Art
Italian
Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects, Vol. 01 (of 10)
Cimabue to Agnolo Gaddi


LIVES OF THE MOST EMINENT PAINTERS SCULPTORS & ARCHITECTS

1912

BY GIORGIO VASARI:

NEWLY TRANSLATED BY GASTON Du C. DE VERE. WITH FIVE HUNDRED ILLUSTRATIONS: IN TEN VOLUMES

LONDON: MACMILLAN AND CO. LD.
& THE MEDICI SOCIETY, LD. 1912-14


CONTENTS OF VOLUME I

  PAGE
TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE TO THIS EDITION xi
DEDICATIONS TO COSIMO DE’ MEDICI
EDITION OF 1550 xiii
EDITION OF 1568 xvii
IMPRIMATUR OF POPE PIUS V xxi
THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE TO THE WHOLE WORK xxiii
THE AUTHOR’S PREFACE TO THE LIVES xxxvii
GIOVANNI CIMABUE 1
ARNOLFO DI LAPO 11
NICCOLA AND GIOVANNI OF PISA [NICCOLA PISANO: GIOVANNI PISANO] 27
ANDREA TAFI 45
GADDO GADDI 53
MARGARITONE 61
GIOTTO 69
AGOSTINO AND AGNOLO OF SIENA 95
STEFANO AND UGOLINO SANESE [UGOLINO DA SIENA] 107
PIETRO LAURATI [PIETRO LORENZETTI] 115
ANDREA PISANO 121
BUONAMICO BUFFALMACCO 133
AMBROGIO LORENZETTI 153
PIETRO CAVALLINI 159
SIMONE SANESE [SIMONE MEMMI OR MARTINI] 165
TADDEO GADDI 175
ANDREA DI CIONE ORCAGNA 187
TOMMASO, CALLED GIOTTINO 201
GIOVANNI DAL PONTE 209
AGNOLO GADDI 215
INDEX OF NAMES 225

ILLUSTRATIONS TO VOLUME I

PLATES IN COLOUR

Cimabue Madonna and Child Florence: Accademia, 102 10
Giotto Madonna and Child Florence: Accademia, 103 82
Pietro Laurati Madonna and Child, with SS. Francis and John Assisi: Lower Church 118
Ambrogio Lorenzetti Madonna and Child, with SS. Mary Magdalen and Dorothy Siena: Pinacoteca, 77 156
Simone Sanese The Knighting of S. Martin Assisi: Lower Church, Chapel of S. Martin 168
Lippo Memmi Madonna and Child Berlin: Kaiser Friedrich Museum, 1081A 172
Taddeo Gaddi The Presentation in the Temple Florence: Accademia, 107 182
Andrea di Cione Orcagna Christ Enthroned Florence: S. Maria Novella, Strozzi Chapel 192
Giottino The Descent from the Cross Florence: Uffizi, 27 206

PLATES IN MONOCHROME

Cimabue Madonna and Child and Angels Paris: Louvre, 1260 2
Roman School Isaac’s Blessing Assisi: Upper Church 6
Roman School The Deposition from the Cross Assisi: Upper Church 6
Cimabue The Crucifixion Assisi: Upper Church 8
Arnolfo di Lapo
(School of)
Reclining Female Figure from a Tomb Collection Bardini 18
Arnolfo di Lapo
(School of)
Tomb of Adrian V Viterbo: S. Francesco 24
Niccola Pisano Pulpit Pisa: The Baptistery 30
Niccola Pisano Detail: The Adoration of the Magi Pisa: Relief from the Pulpit of the Baptistery 32
Niccola Pisano Detail: The Visitation and The Nativity Siena: Relief from the Pulpit 34
Giovanni Pisano Detail: A Sibyl Siena: Duomo (façade) 38
Giovanni Pisano Detail: The Massacre of the Innocents Pistoia: Relief from the Pulpit, S. Andrea 40
Giovanni Pisano Madonna and Child Padua: Arena Chapel 42
Magaritone The Virgin and Child, with Scenes from the Lives of the Saints London: N.G., 5040 64
Giotto The Death of S. Francis Florence: S. Croce 70
Roman School S. Francis Preaching before Pope Honorius III Assisi: Upper Church 72
Roman School The Body of S. Francis before the Church of S. Damiano Assisi: Upper Church 74
Giotto and his Pupils The Raising of Lazarus Assisi: Lower Church 78
Giotto The Flight into Egypt Padua: Arena Chapel 88
Giotto
(School of)
The Crucifixion Assisi: Lower Church 90
Ugolino Sanese SS. Paul, Peter, and John the Baptist Berlin: Kaiser Friedrich Museum, 1635 112
Pietro Laurati The Madonna Enthroned Arezzo: S. Maria della Pieve 116
Pietro Laurati The Deposition from the Cross Assisi: Lower Church 120
Andrea Pisano Details: Salome and The Beheading of S. John the Baptist Florence: Gates of the Baptistery 126
Andrea Pisano The Creation of Man Florence: Relief on the Campanile 128
Nino Pisano Madonna and Child Orvieto: Museo dell’Opera 130
Ambrogio Lorenzetti Madonna and Child Milan: Cagnola Collection 154
Ambrogio Lorenzetti Central Panel of Polyptych: Madonna and Child Massa Marittima: Municipio 158
Pietro Cavallini Detail from The Last Judgment: Head of an Apostle Rome: Convent of S. Cecilia 162
Pietro Cavallini Detail from The Last Judgment: Head of the Christ in Glory Rome: Convent of S. Cecilia 164
Simone Sanese Altar-piece: S. Louis crowning King Robert of Naples Naples: S. Lorenzo 166
Simone Sanese The Annunciation Antwerp: Royal Museum, 257-8 170
Lippo Memmi Madonna and Child Altenburg: Lindenau Museum, 43 174
Taddeo Gaddi The Last Supper Florence: S. Croce, the Refectory 178
Bernardo di Cione Orcagna Detail from The Paradise: Christ with the Virgin Enthroned Florence: S. Maria Novella 190
Andrea di Cione Orcagna The Death and Assumption of the Virgin Florence: Relief on the Tabernacle, Or San Michele 194
Francesco Traini S. Thomas Aquinas Pisa: S. Caterina 198
Giovanni dal Ponte S. Peter Enthroned Florence: Uffizi, 1292 212
Agnolo Gaddi The Marriage of S. Catharine Collection Philadelphia: J. G. Johnson 218

Transcriber’s Note:
The CORRIGENDA have been applied to this etext.

CORRIGENDA

Page 49, lines 1, 27, for “Apollonius” read “Apollonio.”
” 120, line 10, for “which tabernacle is quite round” read “which tabernacle is in the round.”
” 127, lines 11, 12, for “oval spaces” read “mandorle.”
” 196, line 18, for “an oval space” read “a mandorla.”


TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE TO THIS EDITION

Vasari introduces himself sufficiently in his own prefaces and introduction; a translator need concern himself only with the system by which the Italian text can best be rendered in English. The style of that text is sometimes laboured and pompous; it is often ungrammatical. But the narrative is generally lively, full of neat phrases, and abounding in quaint expressions—many of them still recognizable in the modern Florentine vernacular—while, in such Lives as those of Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, and Michelagnolo, Vasari shows how well he can rise to a fine subject. His criticism is generally sound, solid, and direct; and he employs few technical terms, except in connection with architecture, where we find passages full of technicalities, often so loosely used that it is difficult to be sure of their exact meaning. In such cases I have invariably adopted the rendering which seemed most in accordance with Vasari’s actual words, so far as these could be explained by professional advice and local knowledge; and I have included brief notes where they appeared to be indispensable.
In Mrs. Foster’s familiar English paraphrase—for a paraphrase it is rather than a translation—all Vasari’s liveliness evaporates, even where his meaning is not blurred or misunderstood. Perhaps I have gone too far towards the other extreme in relying upon the Anglo-Saxon side of the English language rather than upon the Latin, and in taking no liberties whatever with the text of 1568. My intention, indeed, has been to render my original word for word, and to err, if at all, in favour of literalness. The very structure of Vasari’s sentences has usually been retained, though some freedom was necessary in the matter of the punctuation, which is generally bewildering. As Mr. Horne’s only too rare translation of the Life of Leonardo da Vinci has proved, it is by some such method that we can best keep Vasari’s sense and Vasari’s spirit—the one as important to the student of Italian art as is the other to the general reader. Such an attempt, however, places an English translator of the first volume at a conspicuous disadvantage. Throughout the earlier Lives Vasari seems to be feeling his way. He is not sure of himself, and his style is often awkward. The more faithful the attempted rendering, the more plainly must that awkwardness be reproduced.
Vasari’s Introduction on Technique has not been included, because it has no immediate connection with the Lives. In any case, there already exists an adequate translation by Miss Maclehose. All Vasari’s other prefaces and introductions are given in the order in which they are found in the edition of 1568.
With this much explanation, I may pass to personal matters, and record my thanks to many Florentine friends for help in technical and grammatical questions; to Professor Baldwin Brown for the notes on technical matters printed with Miss Maclehose’s translation of “Vasari on Technique”; and to Mr. C. J. Holmes, of the National Portrait Gallery, for encouragement in a task which has proved no less pleasant than difficult.
G. du C. de V.
London,
March 1912.


TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS AND MOST EXCELLENT SIGNOR COSIMO DE’ MEDICI, DUKE OF FLORENCE

My most honoured Lord,
Seeing that your Excellency, following in this the footsteps of your most Illustrious ancestors, and incited and urged by your own natural magnanimity, ceases not to favour and to exalt every kind of talent, wheresoever it may be found, and shows particular favour to the arts of design, fondness for their craftsmen,[1] and understanding and delight in their beautiful and rare works; I think that you cannot but take pleasure in this labour which I have undertaken, of writing down the lives, the works, the manners, and the circumstances of all those who, finding the arts already dead, first revived them, then step by step nourished and adorned them, and finally brought them to that height of beauty and majesty whereon they stand at the present day. And because these masters have been almost all Tuscans, and most of these Florentines, of whom many have been incited and aided by your most Illustrious ancestors with every kind of reward and honour to put themselves to work, it may be said that in your state, nay, in your most blessed house the arts were born anew, and that through the generosity of your ancestors the world has recovered these most beautiful arts, through which it has been ennobled and embellished.
Wherefore, through the debt which this age, these arts, and these craftsmen owe to your ancestors, and to you as the heir of their virtue and of their patronage of these professions, and through that debt which I, above all, owe them, seeing that I was taught by them, that I was their subject and their devoted servant, that I was brought up under Cardinal Ippolito de’ Medici, and under Alessandro, your predecessor, and that, finally, I am infinitely attached to the blessed memory of the Magnificent Ottaviano de’ Medici, by whom I was supported, loved and protected while he lived; for all these reasons, I say, and because from the greatness of your worth and of your fortunes there will come much favour for this work, and from your understanding of its subject there will come a better appreciation than from any other for its usefulness and for the labour and the diligence that I have given to its execution, it has seemed to me that to your Excellency alone could it be fittingly dedicated, and it is under your most honoured name that I have wished it to come to the hands of men.
Deign, then, Excellency, to accept it, to favour it, and, if this may be granted to it by your exalted thoughts, sometimes to read it; having regard to the nature of the matter therein dealt with and to my pure intention, which has been, not to gain for myself praise as a writer, but as craftsman to praise the industry and to revive the memory of those who, having given life and adornment to these professions, do not deserve to have their names and their works wholly left, even as they were, the prey of death and of oblivion. Besides, at the same time, through the example of so many able men and through so many observations on so many works that I have gathered together in this book, I have thought to help not a little the masters of these exercises and to please all those who therein have taste and pleasure. This I have striven to do with that accuracy and with that good faith which are essential for the truth of history and of things written. But if my writing, being unpolished and as artless as my speech, be unworthy of your Excellency’s ear and of the merits of so many most illustrious intellects; as for them, pardon me that the pen of a draughtsman, such as they too were, has no greater power to give them outline and shadow; and as for yourself, let it suffice me that your Excellency should deign to approve my simple labour, remembering that the necessity of gaining for myself the wherewithal to live has left me no time to exercise myself with any instrument but the brush. Nor even with that have I reached that goal to which I think to be able to attain, now that Fortune promises me so much favour, that, with greater ease and greater credit for myself and with greater satisfaction to others, I may perchance be able, as well with the pen as with the brush, to unfold my ideas to the world, whatsoever they may be. For besides the help and protection for which I must hope from your Excellency, as my liege lord and as the protector of poor followers of the arts, it has pleased the goodness of God to elect as His Vicar on earth the most holy and most blessed Julius III, Supreme Pontiff and a friend and patron of every kind of excellence and of these most excellent and most difficult arts in particular, from whose exalted liberality I expect recompense for many years spent and many labours expended, and up to now without fruit. And not only I, who have dedicated myself to the perpetual service of His Holiness, but all the gifted craftsmen of this age, must expect from him such honour and reward and opportunities for practising the arts so greatly, that already I rejoice to see these arts arriving in his time at the greatest height of their perfection, and Rome adorned by craftsmen so many and

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