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Arezzo. The City of Vasari / “Per gloria dell’arte et honor degli Artefici”

Within the spaces of the Municipal Library, an exhibition of some of the bibliographic treasures preserved in its catalog – ancient texts, prints, and manuscripts – which document, in five dedicated sections, the origins of the family and the education of the young Vasari, his work as an architect and painter, and the various editions of his most famous literary work, “The Lives”


In the first section, “The Origins and the Family”, the genealogy of Vasari is highlighted, starting from his great-grandfather Lazzaro, who is featured in the Lives with a portrait dedicated to him. Also displayed are the colored coat of arms of the Vasari family along with an engraved portrait of the artist. This section is completed by the works of Giovanni Lappoli and Paolo Giovio, who played a decisive role in the artist’s recognition during his lifetime.
The second section, “Vasari as Architect and Painter”, sheds light on some aspects of his works by displaying a manuscript that includes the contract with his autograph signature for the large panel depicting the Banquet of Esther and Ahasuerus, signed on July 13, 1548, with the abbot of the monastery of Saints Flora and Lucilla, in which Vasari committed to creating «una tavola longa bracia 12, alta 6, qual va per ornamento del refettorio del detto monasterio». Regarding his architectural activity, two manuscripts (Palliani and Sinigardi) are exhibited, which document the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the Logge di Piazza Grande.
The third section, “The Lives, a Bestseller of the Modern Era,” documents the numerous editions of this monumental work, which marks the beginning of modern art history, starting from the 1568 edition printed in Florence by Giunti, following the first edition of 1550 by Torrentino, which was less successful. In the section “Other Writings by the Artist,” there are other works by Vasari such as The Reasonings, published posthumously in 1588 by his nephew Giorgio the Younger, as well as the Arezzo edition by Michele Bellotti from 1762. Also displayed is a twentieth-century edition of the Poems, contained in the Riccardiano manuscript no. 2948.
The last section, “Homo vapor est: Vasari and His Legacy,” is dedicated to some writings and contributions dedicated to Vasari after his death up to the 20th century, from Landucci to Cesare Guasti to Alessandro Del Vita and Karl Frey.
This final part concludes with manuscript 27, which contains the record of Vasari’s death on June 27, 1574.





from Monday to Sunday
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM / 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM



from May 4 to July 7, 2024


Biblioteca Città di Arezzo
via dei Pileati, 8