Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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C. Plinii Secundi Naturalis Historie libri
  • Pliny the Elder
  • C. Plinii Secundi Naturalis Historie libri, 1525
  • Not on display
  • EL2012.026
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Giorgio Vasari and Court Culture in Late Renaissance Italy," Sep-2012, Sally Cornelison and Susan Earle
Vasari’s relationship with the ancient Roman author Pliny the Elder was complex. He frescoed stories from Pliny’s Natural History on the walls of his homes in Arezzo and Florence, and in his Lives of the Artists Vasari used the same text for linguistic examples, historical anecdotes, structural guidelines, thematic developments, and inspiration for his conception of artistic skill. This wholesale harvesting of Pliny demonstrated Vasari’s considerable skills as a Renaissance man of letters and as a master historian. The page on view in this edition of the Natural History illustrates the same qualities that Vasari highlighted in the Lives: portraits of ancient philosophers alert the reader to the intellectual foundation of the work and the author’s innovations in the field. The Latin text tells readers that they will also find a useful index to help them navigate the vast material, very similar to the indexes that Vasari included in the second edition of the Lives.