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Vasari in his homeland

There are still many traces left by Giorgio Vasari in his land. Apart from his lost works or those located elsewhere in Italy and around the world, his early works in Arezzo are the “Cristo portato al sepolcro” (1532), originally painted for Cardinal Ippolito de’ Medici and today in the House Vasari Museum, and the “Deposizione di Cristo”, painted between 1532 and 1538 and commissioned by Corpus Domini Company for the Basilica of San Domenico, today located in the Church of the “Ss. Annunziata”. Both of these works of art share a Rosso Fiorentino influence.

Also the so-called “Pala di San Rocco” dates back to 1536-37, created for the San Rocco Company. Today the main board of this piece of art is in the Medieval and Modern Art Museum of Arezzo, while the little platform boards are in the Diocesan Museum. In the lost San Rocco parish there were also some detached frescoes, which with some doubts were attributed to Vasari. These frescoes are a “San Rocco” now hosted in the Vasari House Museum, and four “Prophets”, moved to the Santa Chiara Church in Monte San Savino.

In 1537 the stone-based organ inside the Cathedral sculptured by Pietro di Subisso and Piero Giannozzo da Settignano was finished. Two years earlier, in 1535, Vasari drew its model.

Between 1537 and 1540, Vasari painted for the Church of SS. Donato and Ilariano of Camaldoli the“Madonna con il Bambino tra i SS. Giovanni Battista e Girolamo”, the “Natività”, the “Deposizione”, the “SS. Donato e Ilariano” and the “SS. Benedetto e Romualdo”. Inside the church there also are the ten predellas of the already mentioned “Deposizione”. In 1539, Vasari did the “Assunzione della Vergine con i SS. Agostino e Romualdo” for st. Agostino’s church in Monte San Savino. Two tables of the predella, the one with the “Battesimo di Sant’Agostino” and the “Martirio di San Bartolomeo” are inside the Vasari House Museum.

In 1540, he painted the famous “Allegory of Conception” for the banker and patron Bindo Altoviti, for the Apostles’ church in Florence. This work had great success so both Vasari and some artists of his circle painted some variations on this subject. One of these versions is visible inside the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art, brought from the National Gallery of Barberini palace.

In 1541, Vasari bought a piece of land and a house still not finished in San Vito, a part of Arezzo, nowadays called via XX settembre. The decoration of the interiors, with a complex iconographic program, started the following year and continued until 1548. Vasari stayed here for short periods of time because he travelled throughout Italy for work.

The colossal “Convito per le nozze di Ester e Assuero”, ordered by the benedictine monks for the refectory of the abbey of SS. Flora and Lucilla, that today is inside the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art was painted in 1548 and in the same year Vasari painted the “Madonna col bambino e i SS. Silvestro, Anna e Francesco” for st. Francis’ church in Castiglion Fiorentino. Worth mentioning is also the banner for the Compagnia di San Giovanni de Peducci, with the “Predica di San Giovanni Battista” on one side and the “Battesimo di Cristo” on the other side that is kept inside the Diocesan Museum.

Between 1549 and 1550 he designed the bell tower of the Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici in Arezzo and in 1554 the wooden choir of the Duomo of Arezzo. In 1544 and 1545, in Cortona, together with Cristofano Gherardi, called Doceno, Vasari decorated the Oratory of the Compagnia dei Gesù. The depicted figures were the “Sacrifici dell’Antico Testamento”, the “Conversione di Saulo”, the “Discesa nel Limbo” and the “Trasfigurazione”. Also in Cortona, Vasari replaced Battista di Cristofanello Sensi for the church of Santa Maria Nuova. In 1557 he did the “Madonna della Misericordia” for a processional canopy ordered by the Fraternita dei Laici that today is inside the Diocesan Museum

The project of the complex altar for his family for the church of Santa Maria della Pieve, in collaboration with Flemish artist Giovanni Stradano was done between 1563 and 1564, later the altar was moved to the abbey of SS. Flora and Lucilla. At the centre of this altar was placed the “Vocazione di Pietro e Andrea”, made in 1551. Starting from 1564, he saw to the restoration of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Oaks in Lucignano and at the same time, in Castiglion Fiorentino, he worked to the church of Consolazione and to the loggia of Palazzo San Michele.

From 1565, Vasari oversaw the modernisation of the abbey of SS. Flora and Lucilla. In 1567, Vasari recommended to Nerozzo Albergotti the purchase of his “Assunzione e Incoronazione della Vergine”, done the year before for Francesco Salviati and enriched, in 1570, with a depiction of eight female saints and saint Donato and Francesco on the sides. At first, the whole work was placed on the Albergotti Altar of the Pieve di Santa Maria, then it was moved to the abbey of SS. Flora and Lucilla.

The processional banner with “San Rocco” on a side and “San Rocco che visita gli appestati” for the Compagnia di San Rocco was finished in 1568 and today it is kept inside the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art. In the same year, Vasari painted the “Pala Camaiani” for the Camaiani chapel of the Pieve di Santa Maria, also kept inside the same museum, although it was partially taken apart.

In 1569 Vasari, in collaboration with Bartolomeo Ammannati, started working to the Temple of Santo Stefano in Pozzo della Chiana. This building was constructed as a memorial for the Battle of Scannagallo of 1554 in which Florence won against Siena. In 1571, Vasari painted a new work for Camaldoli, the “Cristo nell’Orto”, placed in the chapel of the infirmary of the monastery.

The Palazzo delle Logge was designed in 1572. His last work was the standard for the Compagnia della SS. Trinità, finished in 1573 that depicts the “SS. Trinità tra i SS. Donato, Francesco e Bernardo” on the front side and that is placed inside the church of the SS. Trinità, while the back side that depicts “Abramo visitato dagli angeli” is placed inside the Museum of Medieval and Modern Art.

Giorgio Vasari, Palazzo delle Logge, Piazza Grande, Arezzo

Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici, Bell-gable (1549; design by Giorgio Vasari, Arezzo)

Giorgio Vasari, Sala del Trionfo della Virtù, Casa Vasari Museum, Arezzo

Giorgio Vasari, Convito per le Nozze di Ester e Assuero (1549; oil on canvas, 280×712 cm; Museum of Mediaeval and Modern Art, Arezzo)

Giorgio Vasari, Pala di San Rocco (1536-37; oil on board; Museum of Mediaeval and Modern Art, Arezzo)

Giorgio Vasari, Deposizione (1536-37; Church of Ss. Annunziata, Arezzo)

Giorgio Vasari, Stendardo della Ss. Trinità, recto (1573; oil on canvas; Church of Santissima Trinità, Arezzo)

Giorgio Vasari, Cantoria monumentale, (1535; design of the base of the organ; Cathedral of Arezzo)

Giorgio Vasari, Stendardo di San Giovanni Battista, verso (1548; oil on canvas; Diocesan museum, Arezzo)

Giorgio Vasari, Stendardo della Madonna della Misericordia (1557; oil on canvas, ⌀ 192 cm; Diocesan museum, Arezzo)

Giorgio Vasari, Altare Mausoleo (1563-64; Abbey of Saints Flora and Lucilla, Arezzo)

Giorgio Vasari, Vocazione dei SS. Pietro, Andrea, Giacomo e Giovanni, detail of the altar-mausoleum (1551; Abbey of Saints Flora and Lucilla, Arezzo)

Giorgio Vasari, Pala Albergotti (1566-70; oil on board, 500×400 cm; Abbey of Saints Flora and Lucilla, Arezzo)

The works of Giorgio Vasari in the Arezzo territory

Giorgio Vasari, Deposizione dalla croce (1540; oil on canvas, 311×210 cm; Monastery of Camaldoli)

Giorgio Vasari, Madonna col Bambino tra i Santi Anna, Silvestro e Francesco (1548; oil on board, 194×154 cm; San Francesco’s church, Castiglion Fiorentino)

Giorgio Vasari, Church of the Madonna della Consolazione (1565; Castiglion Fiorentino)

Giorgio Vasari, Assunzione della Vergine e i Santi Agostino e Romualdo (1539; oil on board; Sant’Agostino’s church, Monte San Savino)

Giorgio Vasari, Temple of Santo Stefano della Vittoria (1569; Pozzo della Chiana)

Giorgio Vasari, Church of Santa Maria Nuova (1554-55; Cortona)