The Easel

28th September 2021

The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects

Sitting in Florence in 1550, Vasari wrote Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. Art history was born. Can we still learn from this work? Gossip is a constant in life. Vasari’s favourite artists “broadly are our own” implying that taste in art doesn’t change much. And even back then, art was a winner-take-all market, but “craftsmen who have as their ultimate and principal end gain and profit rarely become very excellent”.