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Extended Audio Sample Lives of the Artists, Vol. 1 Audiobook, by Giorgio Vasari Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,544 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Giorgio Vasari Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN: 9781455176526
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Georgio Vasari’s original vision of the arts was to see the artist as divinely inspired. This historical work describes the lives of forty-five artists, including Giotto, Brunelleschi, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian, with striking immediacy conveyed through character sketches, anecdotes, and detailed recording of conversations. Despite some factual inaccuracies, Michelangelo praised Vasari for endowing artists with immortality. Vasari’s shrewd judgments and his precise pinpointing of the emotions aroused by individual works of art bear out his prediction that he would have a worldwide influence on the history of art.

Volume One covers the following artists: Cimabue, Giotto, Uccello, Ghiberti, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Alberti, Fra Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Verrocchio, Mantegna, Leonardo da Vinci, Giorgione, Correggio, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian, as well as additional notes on the artists.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The single most important contemporary source of information on hundreds of artists of the Italian Renaissance period.”

    Irish Independent

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Flora | 2/19/2014

    " Must read if you love Italian art. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Virginia | 2/15/2014

    " Well needless to say this book is a little dense- Only read if you are intersted in the Renissance art and its represtitives. It took a while to get through and a bit of skimming was involved. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adrian Colesberry | 2/10/2014

    " I finished my copy before realizing it was abridged. I was upset until I read in another art history book that he made a lot of this stuff up. It was fairly inaccurate. Still fun to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maricar Tangonan | 2/10/2014

    " initially, i read this just to help a friend with his project. a week after, i didnt realize i almost read all featured artists in the anthology. great anecdotes from a writer who lived amongst the artists featured in the book. i recommend this as an in-between read or subway pasttime. reading it fast can be overwhelming and dragging. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alaina | 1/29/2014

    " A look at the great male artists of the Renaissance. Vasari himself was influential in the historiography of art. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alfonso | 1/18/2014

    " I read this many years ago. It is considered among the best biographies on Renaissance Art. There is a little bit of bias to Florentine artist if I am not mistaken, but a good start. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter Kolesnikov | 1/14/2014

    " pretty darn interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura Localio | 1/13/2014

    " I read this in college while taking a Renaissance History Course. It was a bit of a difficult read (for me at least), but interesting if you like historical info about art. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Staci | 10/15/2013

    " If anyone is interested in the artists of the Italian Renaissance, this is definately the book to read. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It makes me want to go to Italy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer Hoecker | 6/6/2012

    " Vasari knew many of the great artists that we know speculate understanding. He offers an interesting perspective giving us true stories of the artists we think we know about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cris | 3/14/2012

    " This is simply fundamental. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 2/22/2012

    " Great stories telling of the lives of Italian Renaissance artists. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik | 8/23/2011

    " This is my first candidate for the "what if you were marooned on a desert island" list. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 6/4/2011

    " Fundamental work for understanding art history... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kafkasfriend | 4/22/2011

    " My edition of the Lives is no longer in print but this is a good translation and is worth reading by anyone interested in Renaissance art and politics. Vasari is deservedly the most famous writer on art and his contemporaries read and find some Italian art and understand the works. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 3/11/2011

    " such an amazing book that was written during the time of the artists including that of Michaelangelo! awesome book to read if you are interested in art of course! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lyannie | 10/16/2010

    " Interesting tales from a very biased point of view. However, truth is always relative. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hevel Cava | 5/5/2010

    " Excellent, impressive... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Derek Baldwin | 9/16/2009

    " Fabulous at times, dreary at others, depending entirely on Vasari's esteem or otherwise for the most excellent Italian artist he is talking about. Lots of funny gossip. I expect he was the Brian Sewell of his day. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 9/9/2009

    " Enjoyed this very much - so glad Angie recommended it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tammy | 6/5/2009

    " Vasari is my go-to volume for a trip to Italy. Nothing gives Renaissance Italian art even more life than the gossipy history of one of its comtemporaries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessie | 9/20/2007

    " Visari is not the most articulate art critic, but this book is worth reading for some of the anecdotes. Highlights include Michaelangelo throwing wooden planks at the Pope for sneaking a look at his work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cody | 6/13/2007

    " This book is hilarious and so, so opinionated. Wholly entertaining, to say the least. "

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About the Author
Author Giorgio Vasari

Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574), born in Tuscany, studied in Florence with Michelangelo while he was still a boy. When his patron, Duke Alessandro, was assassinated, Vasari wandered round Italy filling his notebooks with sketches; by his thirties, Vasari was a highly successful painter. He returned to Florence in 1555, where he was appointed architect of the Palazzo Vecchio. Vasari was knighted by Pope Pius V in 1571.

About the Narrator

Wanda McCaddon (a.k.a. Nadia May or Donada Peters) has narrated well over six hundred titles for major audiobook publishers, has earned numerous Earphones Awards, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine.