The Collector of Lives

The Collector of Lives

Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art

Book - 2017
Rate this:
WW Norton
Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) was a man of many talents—a sculptor, painter, architect, writer, and scholar—but he is best known for Lives of the Artists, the classic account that singlehandedly invented the genre of artistic biography and established the canon of Italian Renaissance art. Before Vasari’s extraordinary book, art was considered a technical skill rather than an intellectual pursuit, and artists were mere decorators and craftsmen. It was through Vasari’s visionary writings that artists like Raphael, Leonardo, and Michelangelo came to be regarded as great masters of life as well as art, their creative genius celebrated as a divine gift. Their enduring reputations testify to Vasari’s profound yet unspoken influence on western culture.An advisor to kings and pontiffs—and a confidant to Titian, Donatello, and more—Vasari enjoyed an exhilarating career amid the thrilling culture of Renaissance Italy. In The Collector of Lives, Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney offer a lively and inviting introduction to this pivotal figure in art history, and immerse readers in the world of the Medici of Florence and the popes of Rome. A narrative of intrigue, scandal, and colorful artistic rivalry, this vivid biography shows the great works of western art taking shape under Vasari’s keen eye—and reveals how one Renaissance scholar completely redefined how we look at art.
In the tradition of The Swerve and How to Live, this vivid biography reveals how a Renaissance scholar reshaped the visual world.

Baker & Taylor
A vibrant portrait of Renaissance scholar Giorgio Vasari, best known for the classic text Lives of the Artists, traces his influence in royal and religious venues and his indelible role in the careers of masters ranging from Titian and Donatello to Raphael and Michelangelo.

Book News
Italian Renaissance artist Giorgio Vasari wrote Lives of the Artists in the 16th century, which was the first artistic biography and which became an important source of Italian Renaissance art history. Much of this biography of Vasari is devoted to analyzing and understanding Lives of the Artists. In addition, the book delves into Vasari’s role in Western art, as he promoted the work of Leonardo and Michelangelo as artists, not just craftsmen. Written in plain language and illustrated with color art and b&w maps, the book will appeal to general readers and students, as well as scholars. Annotation ©2018 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

Presents a portrait of Renaissance scholar Giorgio Vasari, tracing his influence in royal and religious venues and his role in the careers of masters, from Titian and Donatello to Michelangelo and Raphael.

Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393241310
Characteristics: viii, 420 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Charney, Noah - Author


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at RCPL

To Top