Giorgio Vasari's Teachers: Sacred and Profane Art

Giorgio Vasari's Teachers: Sacred and Profane Art

Liana De Girolami Cheney

Language: English

Pages: 407


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book examines the artistic, cultural, and historical influence of Giorgio Vasari’s teachers, mentors, and patrons on his sacred and profane paintings. As a Maniera artist, Vasari learns to admire and assimilate the art of the ancient masters. With the guidance of Dante’s literary writings and Marsilio Ficino’s Neoplatonic philosophy, Vasari reveals a moral and didactic vision in his art. Additionally, Vasari’s artistic patronage is influenced by the political views of Niccolò Machiavelli. In the integration of both ancient art and myths with the didactic legacy of biblical figures and moral personifications, Vasari manifests his artistic theory and symbolism in his sacred and profane paintings.

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iconography of the his early decorative cycles, such as the paintings for his house in Arezzo (1542–1554), and repeats and expands in his visual repertoire in such later commissions as the paintings of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence (1565–70). These paintings of Vasari clearly reveal how sixteenth-century painters in Italy employed emblem books. These texts embody the aesthetic theories and the philosophical concerns of the cultural milieu in Vasari’s time. Vasari’s personifications of The Ages

an individual who embodies heroic and virtuous qualities (arête or virtù), as noted by Machiavelli in the Art of War.51 Here, Machiavelli evokes classical ethical prescripts on the signification of peace resulting from an individual spiritual harmony, a dutiful behavior of a society, and a good government, which he applies to Renaissance politics.52 The Christian concept of peace fuses the Hebraic meaning of shalom with the Greek signification of eirene, where, through God/Christ, humanity can

of the rectangular frame are small paintings of river gods crowned by women, such as the River Tiber and the River Arno. Framing the river goddess imagery are small panels with stories of Ceres sending Triptolemus into the world to teach agriculture to Man, Ceres burning Triptolemus with a torch to make him immortal, and Ceres suckling Triptolemus. In the oval and hexagonal panels, surrounding the rectangular frame of the ceiling, are single figures portraying the personification of the twelve

the eighteen-century. In his Essay on the Principle of Population of 1798, Malthus suggests that wages, employment, population and the amount of food available are all subject to the laws of supply and demand (following Adam Smith).54 In reviewing the previous fifth and sixth centuries, Malthus concludes that the population will grow until it outstrips the food supply, at which point famine, pestilence and other natural calamities will reduce the population to a stable level (the Malthusian

A fourth version of Penitent Saint Jerome in the Wilderness is painted for Cosimo I, Duke of Tuscany, in 1566. In his Ricordo 316, Vasari states that Cosimo I Duke of Florence sends this painting of Saint Jerome to one of his wife Eleanor of Toledo’s aunts in Spain (perhaps this unfinished painting is the painting in the Art Institute of Chicago, Fig. 62).20 Vasari’s painting represents, in a forest or wilderness, the prostrating Saint Jerome as a penitent pounding his chest with a stone held in

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