Eric
Eric asked:

Do you find the anecdotes still amusing in today's world? What is it you like about the book especially?

To answer questions about The Lives of the Artists, please sign up.
Whitney It depends a lot on your prior knowledge of art history. I enjoyed the feeling of reading about these artists from what was a contemporary view. I liked that Vasari goes into the person behind the artwork, it makes them seem more real (flaws and all). At the same time, he does add a lot of flowery speech, which would have you believe that each artist descended from the heavens to spread art to the world. Perhaps this was a common courtesy at the time. Between the over-the-top compliments and real talk, a happy medium emerges. I must say, you do have to read between the lines, and it isn't straight forward, but I for one did find it amusing. Maybe even more amusing than research written today as it isn't covered in 400+ years of theory and academia.

With that said, you could probably find the same anecdotes somewhere in a modern text without the dry experience. I don't know where, but considering this book has been taught to many Art Historians over the years, I can't imagine someone hasn't summed these up somewhere else. So it would depend a lot on your personal preference between liking to read old dry texts vs. having a contemporary view.
Image for The Lives of the Artists
Rate this book
Clear rating

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more