Vasari's Notorious Artists

After working on the Lives. for, well, a while, it was inevitable that other ways of looking at Vasari's lives of the artists should manifest. A short and informal list:

ARTISTS who...

Are discovered in the country and brought to the city:

  1. Giotto: While working as a juvenile shepherd, is discovered drawing a sheep on a stone by Cimabue, who persuades his father to let Giotto move to Florence to study art. Result: Fame and Fortune.

Artistic talent Recognized as a Child and Fulfills Juvenile Promise:

  1. Giotto
  2. Raphael

Artistic talent Recognized as a Child but Does Not Fulfill Early Promise:

  1. Raffaellino del Garbo

Run Away from Home or Bad Masters

Have a Story about a Basket hanging from the Ceiling of the Workshop

  1. Donatello: basket is filled with change; if you need some, help yourself.
  2. ??: basket is filled with bread, but has bells that ring with the slightest touch. Apprentices go hungry.

Play jokes on others

  1. Buonamico Buffalmaco
  2. Sodoma

Throw Big Parties

Ruined by Excessive Fondness for Women

  1. Andrea del Sarto
  2. Raphael

Are Ruined by Women Who are Nasty, Brutish, and Greedy

Are Ruined by Family in General

Are Abused by Fellow Artists

  1. Baccio Bandinelli attempts to steal from Andrea del Sarto his "method of coloring" but is so lazy he gives up painting for sculpture.

Who harrass or otherwise mistreat women

  1. Sodoma ("he was a beast"), who married a well-born young woman but abandoned her shortly after she had a baby, leaving her to support herself.

Who Steal

Vasari really likes (perhaps more than the artist is admired today)

  1. Lorenzetto

Vasari hates (with apparent reason)

  1. Gian Maria Falconetto (terrible painter ((world says yes)), although a good architect.)
  2. Pirro Ligorio (incompetent; hassles Michelangelo)
  3. Jacopo L'Indaco (lazy, too given to worldly pleasures)

Who Work on Into Old Age

  1. Giovanni Bellini
  2. Titian

Who were "reduced to madness and miserable want in old age at the end of his life"

  1. Sodoma

Who Die Through Misadventure

Who Die as War Heroes

Who Commit Suicide

  1. Andrea del Sarto
  2. Pietro Torrigiano

Who Die at the End of a Long, Successful Career, Adored by Multitudes

  1. Giotto
  2. Arnolfo di Cambio
  3. Bramante
  4. Leonardo da Vinci
  5. Michelangelo

Return to Vasari's Lives of the Artists


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