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Accusations of ingratitude, and just accusations no doubt, are made against every inhabitant of this wicked world, and the fact is, that a man who is ceaselessly engaged in its trouble and turmoil, borne hither and thither upon the fierce waves of the crowd, bustling, shifting, struggling to keep himself somewhat above water—fighting for reputation, or more likely for bread, and ceaselessly occupied... more...

PREFACE TO THE LIVES I am aware that it is commonly held as a fact by most writers that sculpture, as well as painting, was naturally discovered originally by the people of Egypt, and also that there are others who attribute to the Chaldeans the first rough carvings of statues and the first reliefs. In like manner there are those who credit the Greeks with the invention of the brush and of colouring.... more...

When Pietro Perugino, by that time an old man, was painting the altar-piece of the high-altar of the Servites at Florence, a nephew of Giuliano and Antonio da San Gallo, called Bastiano, was placed with him to learn the art of painting. But the boy had not been long with Perugino, when he saw the manner of Michelagnolo in the cartoon for the Hall, of which we have already spoken so many times, in the... more...

HIS BIRTH Leonardo Da Vinci, the many-sided genius of the Italian Renaissance, was born, as his name implies, at the little town of Vinci, which is about six miles from Empoli and twenty miles west of Florence. Vinci is still very inaccessible, and the only means of conveyance is the cart of a general carrier and postman, who sets out on his journey from Empoli at sunrise and sunset. Outside a house in... more...

DONATELLO The materials for a biography of Donatello are so scanty, that his life and personality can only be studied in his works. The Renaissance gave birth to few men of productive genius whose actual careers are so little known. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Donatello composed no treatise on his art; he wrote no memoir or commentary, no sonnets, and indeed scarcely a letter of his even on... more...

I A BIOGRAPHICAL OUTLINE In July of 1904 the eighty-seven mortal years of George Frederick Watts came to an end. He had outlived all the contemporaries and acquaintances of his youth; few, even among the now living, knew him in his middle age; while to those of the present generation, who knew little of the man though much of his work, he appeared as members of the Ionides family, thus inaugurating the... more...

If writers of history were to live a few years longer than the number commonly granted as the span of human life, I, for my part, have no manner of doubt that they would have something to add to the accounts of the past previously written by them, for the reason that, even as it is not possible for a single man, be he ever so diligent, to learn the exact truth in a flash, or to discover all the details... more...

LIFE OF NICCOLÒ, CALLED TRIBOLOSCULPTOR AND ARCHITECT Raffaello the carpenter, surnamed Il Riccio de' Pericoli, who lived near the Canto a Monteloro in Florence, had born to him in the year 1500, as he used to tell me himself, a male child, whom he was pleased to call at baptism, like his own father, Niccolò; and having perceived that the boy had a quick and ready intelligence and a lofty... more...

Seeing that it is no less necessary for sculptors to have mastery over their carving-tools than it is for him who practises painting to be able to handle colours, it therefore happens that many who work very well in clay prove to be unable to carry their labours to any sort of perfection in marble; and some, on the contrary, work very well in marble, without having any more knowledge of design than a... more...

TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE TO THIS EDITION Vasari introduces himself sufficiently in his own prefaces and introduction; a translator need concern himself only with the system by which the Italian text can best be rendered in English. The style of that text is sometimes laboured and pompous; it is often ungrammatical. But the narrative is generally lively, full of neat phrases, and abounding in quaint... more...

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