Giorgio Vasari (Arezzo, July 30, 1511 – Florence, June 27, 1574) was a painter, architect and art historian Italian. He was strongly influenced by Michelangelo and Andrea del Sarto and a had a prominent role in Florentine artistic and cultural context of the XVI century.
His artistic training was composite, based on the first mannerism, Michelangelo, Raphael, and of the Venetian culture. As an architect, he was the key figure of the initiatives promoted by Cosimo I de ‘Medici, among which the construction of the Uffizi, the restructuring of Palazzo Vecchio and much more.
As an architect in Florence his namen is linked to the Loggia he built for the Uffizi gallery by the Arno river, which he conceived to function as a public square for Florentines, and which, if considered as a short street, is unique as a Renaissance street with a unified architectural treatment. The view of the Loggia from the Arno reveals that, with the Vasari Corridor, it is one of very few structures that line the river which are open to the river itself and appear to embrace the riverside environment.
For the Medici Family he also built the long passage, now called Vasarian Corridor (which was enclosed to protect the members of the Medici Family on their way to their residence) which connects the Uffizi with the Pitti Palace on the other side of the river.
As a painter, in Florence his name is mainly associated to the frescoes of the Cupola di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo Cathedral) which he commenced in 1572 but was not able to complete due to his death in 1574.
Despite the artistic contributions, Vasari is also well known for his work “The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects” , a biographical work he dedicated to Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici, which was first published in 1550. This work is not only useful in order to get news about the lives of most of the artists of the period, but it is also the first time that the term “Renaissance” is used in print, though the awareness of the ongoing “rebirth” in the arts that was flourishing and spreading from central Italy, in particular from Florence.
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