Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists was written in 1550, with a much enlarged edition in 1568. It was the first recogniaable
"art history" book and still influences the way art history
(particularly Italian Renaissance art history) is understood and taught
today. These lectures will give you a brief background introduction to
Renaissance Italy, then get you to think like Vasari,
showing you how he divided the Renaissance into three. You'll need a
pen and paper to jot down impressions of some of the paintings here. Finally we'll consider the background of Renaissance Florence, and how Vasari's book was written as part of a massive propaganda project for Duke Cosimo I.