By Chet Yarbrough
By Giorgio Vasari
Narrated by Nadia May
The word modern depends on a writer’s place in history. To Giorgio Vasari, in the art world, modern begins with Cimabue and rises to a pinnacle of modern art with da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Titian.
TRAVEL WITH VASARI-PART 1:http://www.youtube.com/embed/pq6Wqe61_v4” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Vasari sees art as a reflection of nature in the designs of man. He envisions art movements as cycles in history based on human understanding of nature. Vasari suggests that ancient Greeks and Romans were first to see nature as the inspiration for great art. Vasari believes that inspiration diminishes over time in eras of art history. He argues that geniuses of the art world are born at different times in history. Vasari believes these geniuses return to nature as their inspiration for art.
“Lives of the Artists” credits modern art to Cimabue and Giotto with what is seen in nature as their inspiration. Vasari argues that Cimabue and Giotto break away from the symbolic form of Byzantine design to re-awaken the arts of architecture, sculpture, and painting. In “Lives of the Artists” Vasari chronicles the rise of 16th century “modern” art.
CIMABUE:http://www.youtube.com/embed/dpsEXM1JjhE” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>iframe>
There are three forces that create an art renaissance in Vasari’s history. One is the church; two is aristocratic wealth; and the third is artistic genius. Vasari orchestrates these three forces in the lives of artists that become household names in the art world. With sponsorship from Popes (Pope Julius II, Pius II, Sixtus IV, Alexander VI) and aristocrats (Medici family of Florence, Sforza family of Milan), art is seeded in the 13th century and blooms in the 15th and 16th.
Vasari sees art’s transition from Byzantine symbolism to the reality of nature in Cimabue’s Crucifix. The Crucifix depicts The Virgin and John the Evangelist with forlorn faces at each side of Christ’s hands-hands nailed to the cross. Christ hangs from the cross with closed eyes–once living; now dying. Nature resurrects itself in the form of Jesus; no longer just a symbol, but an anguished human form.
Giotto’s painting, “Crucifixion”, carries Cimabue’s depiction of suffering Jesus one step closer to what mankind sees in nature.
THE MAGNIFICENT GIOTTO:http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZBTtjDMBIbk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
The transition from symbol to naturalism pushes forward with Giotto’s painting of Dante Alighieri and, even more obviously, in da Vinci’s “Jerome in the Wilderness”.
LEONARDO DA VINCI–UNIVERSAL GENIUS VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/embed/Pir_H7kf_JU” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Visari infers that Michelangelo, though considerably younger than da Vinci, does not care for the great inventor because he fails to finish his works and dabbles in too many fields of art and science without becoming an expert in any.
VIDEO OF MICHELANGELO’S SISTINE CHAPEL PAINTING:http://www.youtube.com/embed/7Oxh1hnxW_A” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Vasari shows Michelangelo to be a great sculptor first but reminds one of the beauty and sublimity of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel’ paintings and his architectural prowess
with Lorenz de’ Medici’s tomb and design management of St. Peter’s Basilica.
The beauty and sensuality of “Venus of Urbino” argues both agreement and disagreement with Michelangelo’s purported opinion of Titian’s work. “Venus of Urbino” is a spectacular work of art; only a master of drawing would dare criticize Titian’s drawing prowess.
TITIAN PAINTINGS:http://www.youtube.com/embed/jk5DOy_13hw” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
Vasari’s book is a fascinating examination of a great era of art by an artist that actually met Leonardo de Vinci and Michelangelo Buonarroti.