Giorgio Vasari, the Book of Drawings - The fate of a mythical collection
In Florence in 1568, Giorgio Vasari publishes the second version of the Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects, a work destined to lay the foundations of the historiography of Italian Renaissance art. In it he continually cites a « Book of Drawings » - the graphic reflection of his literary Lives - in which he had assembled the most beautiful sheets of the masters who.se biographies and artworks he describes.
Vasari's Book disappears in the days following the death of its creator, only to become an object of fascination for collectors of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The image which these connoisseurs formed of the great lost collection has until recently dominated historical studies. But the discovery, in 1950, on a sheet thought to have belonged to the Book, of an emblem which until that time had gone unnoticed, has today come to shatter this age-old tradition. Through this metamorphosis emerges the figure of an extraordinary collector : Niccolò di Sinibaldo Gaddi.
Among the many artists encountered in Vasari's Book and in the Gaddi collection, we find Cimabue, Luca della Robbia, Paolo Uccello, Mantegna, Leonardo, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Sodoma, Rosso, Parmigianino - and the fascinating Sofonisba Anguissola.
Exhibition at the musée du Louvre from 31 March to 18 July 2022.
240 pages, 130 illustrations
Coédition Lienart éditions / Louvre éditions / Nationalmuseum, Stockholm