Giorgio Vasari was born in the Tuscan town of Arezzo, where his father was a ceramist. In fact, “vasari” means “maker of vases” in Italian. As an artist, architect, and writer, Giorgio Vasari was closely associated with the court of the Medici family in Florence, where he was sent as a young boy of thirteen to receive training in art, geometry, and Latin. The reputation and fame of Vasari is based in large part on his authorship of the Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (Florence, 1550), an indispensable history of Italian artists.
This fine painting demonstrates Giorgio Vasari’s close affiliation with the Mannerist style of painting. Intense, bright colors, an asymmetrical composition, and exaggerations in scale create a dynamic image.
When the painting became available for purchase in 1989, a dirty layer of grime covered the surface of the canvas. With a keen eye, director Robert Schlageter recognized that a great painting lay beneath the grime and the museum made the purchase.