Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

Ragionamenti del Sig. cavaliere Giorgio Vasari
  • Giorgio Vasari
    born: Arezzo, Duchy of Florence (present-day Italy) ; died: Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany (present-day Italy)
  • Ragionamenti del Sig. cavaliere Giorgio Vasari, 1588
  • book
  • Not on display
  • EL2012.030
  • 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
Although Vasari died in 1574, his nephew, Giorgio Vasari the Younger (1562-1625), felt that his uncle’s work held value in 1588. In his dedicatory letter to Grand Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici (r. 1587-1609), the younger Vasari stated that he wanted the Ragionamenti (Rationales) to reach all the world. The Ragionamenti records an imagined dialogue that occurs over three days in different parts of the Palazzo Vecchio, then the ducal palace, which Vasari spent most of his final years redecorating. The speakers are Giorgio Vasari himself and the Principe, presumably Francesco I de’ Medici (d. 1587). This work outlines Vasari’s rationales for his design and explains to readers how to interpret and appreciate his work. The dialogue also highlights Francesco I’s intelligence, courtliness, stateliness, and generosity. The likeness of Vasari seen here is the same woodcut portrait that served as the frontispiece to volume 1 of the 1568 edition of the Lives.