On the whole, they're decent mini-biographies, but the text had some complications and omissions that could have been handled better. May 02, Morgan rated it liked it. Another marvelous Lives of book. Ordered the whole series for both my libraries. A great go-to book for read aloud; however, one must censor the "controversial" parts. This particular book about the artists is extra censor-worthy as many artists were famous not only for their work, but their eccentric and non-conventional lifestyles.
I really do appreciate the diversity of Krull's choices for these books and this is another great example. There were many artists I had not heard of before Sofoni Another marvelous Lives of book. Johnson, and Isamu Noguchi , but who are historically noteworthy. I enjoyed reading it so much, I googled each one when I was done to learn more about the artwork. Dec 14, Sarah Fresen rated it liked it. Lives of the artists by Kathleen Krull is a non-fiction book filled with facts about the most famous artists you may or may not have heard about.
This book is fresh,spirited and an entertaining presentation. My opinion of this book is it's a very interesting book but I didn't like it too mush because it is more of a children's book not a twelve-year-olds book but I know that if I was younger I would definitely like and want to read this book.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of no Lives of the artists by Kathleen Krull is a non-fiction book filled with facts about the most famous artists you may or may not have heard about. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of non-fiction and has a love for art. Language and age wise it would probably be a good book for anyone who is under the age of Anyone who is above that age might find it boring or tiring. Dec 03, Shelby Moser rated it liked it Shelves: eng An interesting book about 19 artists of all periods.
This book is an interesting book about the artists and the obstacles they overcame and how they were treated in their period. In many cases the artists were not appreciated by people around them. For every artists, Krull provided information about how the artist was or would have been perceived by the neighbors. Despite the fact that it is a biography, the story is told in a creative and run way. The theme of the book is what the neighbors tho An interesting book about 19 artists of all periods. The theme of the book is what the neighbors thought.
I would suggest that this book is best for middle-school ages children. If you like this book, the author also has books about musicians, poets, and authors. View 1 comment. May 24, Sher rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: everyone. This is a fabulous little book that tells about the lives of 20 famous artists.
It certainly does not try to be all-encompassing, but rather gives a taste of how some artists lived. As such, it whets the appetite for more. I not only look forward to learning more about many of these artist, but also I want to see their paintings. The artwork in this book, by Kathryn Hewitt, is nothing short of fabulous itself. She puts many of the eccentricities of each artist into a visual context that is both b This is a fabulous little book that tells about the lives of 20 famous artists.
She puts many of the eccentricities of each artist into a visual context that is both beautiful and humorous. The whole book is intelligently done.
There are at least two more in this series that I can't wait to read. Apr 27, Cedric Osborn-brown rated it liked it. I thought this was an interesting collection of biographies. First this would not be a good book for children who know nothing of the artists the book covers, as the authors do not give much general information on the artists and more so seem to give interesting tidbits of information about the artists instead. However the trivia included is interesting and seems to provide information most people would not know about such and such artist.
Also I really enjoyed how the artists portrayed included I thought this was an interesting collection of biographies. Also I really enjoyed how the artists portrayed included more than just Medieval artists or American artists but included a ride variety of artists, though it would have been nice to have more modern artists who were not born in the United States. Dec 23, Jessica Lave rated it really liked it Shelves: when-i-was-a-kid. We had one at the school library when I was a kid and I loved it. The illustrations are awesome and the stories are great basic information for grade school aged kids.
Back before the internet was the primary source of research for school reports, this was a great resource.
Jul 01, Christine rated it liked it Shelves: reads. This is a YA book about famous artists. I picked it up because I wanted to see how someone explains artists ranging from the Rennaisance through the Modernists to a young fan. It was a good introduction to artists for a young person, and the author did not gloss over some of the more tawdry aspects of some of the artists. Good effort. Jul 03, Benjamin Zapata rated it it was amazing.
Another great volume in this awesome serie,this one dealing with the lives of famous artists like Dali,Da Vinci,Van Gogh,etc. Jan 09, Lara rated it it was amazing Shelves: creativity-in-kids-books. I Love this book! As an elementary art teacher, my students loved hearing stories from this book that I would read to them as they worked. The information is so fun and real life relevant for students. Highly recommended for elementary art teachers. Jul 05, Kersten rated it really liked it Shelves: informational , biography.
This was a fun read. I like her quick biographies, and the interesting little extras that she adds. Whenever I read art biographies I am always interested to see the art, and am constantly stopping to look up works of art of the internet. Enjoyable but I was dismayed by the lack of impressionists what happened to Monet, Degas, and Renoir? There wasn't a lot of new information for me thanks Muzzy but I found it fun to read nonetheless. Jul 25, Deb Readerbuzz Nance rated it it was amazing Shelves: creativity. All of the artists come across as having lived extremely eccentric lives.
Apr 08, Lara rated it it was amazing Shelves: artists.
This book has biographies of artists that are just a few pages long and include the kind of details kids love to know These are things that make the artist seem real to a student. Delightful artwork throughout the book. This has short snips of stories about a range of famous artists. I got this out of the library to read the part about Henri Matisse to get more ideas for my term 3 art class. It was a fun read.
May 17, Jon rated it really liked it. Good info on artists I never knew much about. A quick, fun read that gives insight into the lives of artist. I revisited my favorite artist and learned about a few new ones. Love the illustrations. I really like this book. The caricatures are amusing and the mini-biographies have a lot to tell.
It's definitely a book you want to have around for light reading. Jun 07, Megan rated it really liked it. Road trip audiobook. Mar 02, Diana rated it it was amazing. Childhood favorite-- I think it really turned me on to caricature drawing. May 31, Jenifer rated it really liked it. Thanks to Sherrie for loaning me these darling books. Jun 06, Sara rated it really liked it Shelves: nonfiction-for-youth , biography. Writing and formatting are very good for a tween or teen reader still transitioning into longer or harder nonfiction.
Jan 13, Robbi Portela rated it it was amazing.
Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought)
Loved all the interesting facts about these artists! Nov 06, Don Gubler rated it really liked it. Yes, artist are people too, but maybe a bit more eccentric. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Readers also enjoyed. About Kathleen Krull. Kathleen Krull. So it would depend a lot on your personal preference between liking to read old dry texts vs. See 2 questions about The Lives of the Artists….
Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. The translation used is that of Mrs. Jonathan Foster These eight artists are covered in less than pages. Of the eight lives, that of Michelangelo takes up over pages. Strengths The book is extremely interesting, in parts. When the work was first published in Florence in , Michelangelo and Titian were still living, and Botticelli, Leonardo, and Raphael had all died only years previously.
The earliest of these artists, Giotto, had died in , over two centuries prior to Vasari's work. To read the views of these artists' lives and works written by someone this close in time to them, someone who was himself immersed in the culture of the Italian Renaissance, can be intoxicating. It was the first history of art ever written, and though it only treated Italian art and even there tended to favor somewhat chauvinistically Florentine artists , the Introduction to the book makes many favorable points about it.
This is still a feature of modern popular articles or books on artists. As distinct from thick academic books on art history, which focus more on the art than the artist, if I can put it that way. For example, in the 8 page chapter on Botticelli, we read that Botticelli had been paid a large sum for the paintings he executed in the recently built Sistine Chapel in the early s. Vasari continues but this [sum] he consumed and squandered totally during his residence in Rome, where he lived without due care, as was his habit. Having completed the work assigned to him, he returned at once to Florence, where, being whimsical and eccentric, he occupied himself with commenting on a certain part of Dante, illustrating the Inferno and executing prints, over which he wasted much time; and neglecting his proper occupation, he did no work, and thereby caused infinite disorder in his affairs.
Finally, each chapter is illustrated with a plate unattributed. For Botticelli, we have this. Another problem is again related to our modern views of these Renaissance works of art, and is also illustrated in the Botticelli article. Here are probably the two most famous paintings now by Botticelli.
Of these there are still two examples at Castello, a villa of the Duke Cosimo, one representing the birth of Venus, who is borne to earth by the Loves and Zephyrs: the second also representing the figure of Venus crowned with flowers by the Graces; she is here intended to denote the Spring, and the allegory is expressed by the painter with extraordinary grace. And what he says about them is immensely interesting. Finally, the last problem I had with this book is that Vasari gives many long long!
My personal verdict The first of the above weaknesses is perhaps excusable; the second is certainly hard to blame Vasari for; and the third could be helped quite a bit by a copiously illustrated edition. But still … that gossipy, judgmental, perhaps even inaccurate personal stuff about the artists can be very interesting, and, yes, pleasurable to read. One just has to be prepared to skip or skim when the going gets tough. Not a good history of art — but still a worthwhile recounting of the Lives of the artists. View all 14 comments. Men of genius sometimes accomplish most when they work the least, for they are thinking out inventions and forming in their minds the perfect idea that they subsequently express with their hands.
My time here is limited. I only have so much time for the good. In my brief life here I want to hang with the Gods not with the minor prophets.
It had all the Teenage Ninja Mutant Renaissance artists, but still provided plenty of architects, sculptures and painters that I was either completely uninformed about or lacked much knowledge. Vasari has a natural narrative momentum, even if he does sometimes lose his narrative genius when he's consumed with listing and describing all of an artists works. It is a fine balancing act, to try and describe the artists' life, work, and importance and make the essay complete, without making the piece a laundry list of oil and marble.
One final note. This is one of those books that seems destined to become an amazing hypertext book or app. There were times while reading it I wished I was reading a digital copy that would provide links to pictures, blue prints, smoothly rotating statues, etc. What I wanted was a through the looking-glass, artist's version of The Elements app by Theodore Gray. I want a multiverse of art, history, maps and blueprints. I want to fall into a hypertext of Renaissance Florence and Rome. Audiobooks or paper just fail to do justice to this beautiful subject.
View all 6 comments. An artist lives and acquires fame through his works; but with the passing of time, which consumes everything, these works—the first, then the second, and the third—fade away. In life Vasari was a typical Renaissa An artist lives and acquires fame through his works; but with the passing of time, which consumes everything, these works—the first, then the second, and the third—fade away. In life Vasari was a typical Renaissance man, achieving fame for his paintings he decorated the Palazzo Vecchio and his architecture he was responsible for the loggia of the Uffizi , in addition to his work as a biographer.
Granted, his paintings are not highly regarded nowadays though many are pleasing enough to my eyes ; but this posthumous verdict did not prevent him from making a fine living. And when you write the first book of art history in the history of art, the rest hardly matters. The edition I own is highly abridged, as are nearly all popular versions, since the original contains dozens upon dozens of painters, sculptors, and architects—most of whom the casual reader does not know of or care for. This explains why most of the Lives are so short.
He runs through Sandro Botticelli in all of ten pages, for example, barely pausing to mention the Birth of Venus. Indeed, many of these biographies are hardly biographies at all, just extended catalogues of works. This is certainly useful for the art historian though Vasari made many mistakes but it does not make for electrifying reading. This does not prevent him from including many good stories. Like Plutarch himself, Vasari is rich in anecdote—and, as in Plutarch, half of them are probably false. Fact or fiction, however, a good story is preferable to a dry fact.
We hear of Cimabue agreeing to take on Giotto as a pupil, after seeing the young boy scratching on a stone; or of Paolo Uccello staying up long nights to work on problems of perspective. Whether these stories help us to understand the paintings is doubtful; but they do help to bring alive this amazing time in history. Vasari begins the book with a sketch of the history of art as he understood it. His opinion is not a masterpiece of subtlety. Most of us are disposed to think it is declining.
This was not an age of poor Van Goghs working in lonely shacks. The great artists were recognized and rewarded when they lived; and younger artists were seen to have surpassed their masters—novel concepts in our romantic age. The Life of Michelangelo, whom Vasari knew and worshipped, is by far the longest and forms the core of this collection. Indeed, all the other lives can be seen as mere leadup to the great Florentine, who fulfils all the promise of former ages.
Vasari here turns from chronicler to hagiographer, praising Michelangelo with every breath. All this makes for good reading, even if the worshipful tone is grating. The second longest Life in my collection is that of another Florentine Vasari was a fierce patriot of his home city , Filippo Brunelleschi. He strikes me as a man full of shallow opinions but of a generous mind and a steady judgment. This book—full of errors, lacking any historical context, and greatly out of step with modern opinion—could hardly be read as a standalone volume on Renaissance painting.
But every book on the subject borrows, knowingly or unknowingly, from Vasari, who has given bread to scholars and delight to readers for generations with this charming book. I have endeavored not only to record what the artists have done but to distinguish between the good, the better, and the best, and to note with some care the methods, manners, styles, behavior, and ideas of the painters and sculptors; I have tried as well as I know how to help people who cannot find out for themselves to understand the sources and origins of various styles, and the reasons for the improvement or decline of the arts at various times and among different people.
View 2 comments. I absolutely love the Renaissance. The history, the art, the literature, everything. I find it fascinating and amazing. And windows into the history, like this book, are amazing. And, indeed, this book was wonderful. Vasari was architect to Duke Cosimo I de' Medici- he built the Uffizi gallery, the Vasari Corridor, and did various paintings and such, including the interior of the Duomo and also some portrait.
I personally do not love all of his art. In any case, he was also the first art historia I absolutely love the Renaissance. In any case, he was also the first art historian, and I highly respect that. He spent a lot of time going around looking for information for this book of his. And I'm very grateful - because some of the little anecdotes he wrote in here are hilarious. It was quite amusing. But th ecomplete thing is so intensely long some pages I believe in full that people never print it in its entirety!
Thus I've spent months looking for a good edition - I have one that's falling apart that I bought in Rome, and every time I open it I have an allergy attack. And then I found this edition at Strand in Manhattan. It's pretty old and out of print , but it has a good selection of the artists that I like. The introduction was good and the translation was easily legible. In any case, you have to take the rest of the book with a grain of salt. He gets a lot of his dates and details wrong - either that, or he was just really bad at math which I slightly doubt.
His ideas on the origins of art are fascinating. His writing style was just fine - but I forgive him because it's a translation, and he was an artist not a philosopher. I expected it to be more of a biography than a catalog. For example - "Giotto was the best artist ever! He also doted so much on Michelangelo that I had to skip half of that section because I couldn't stand it anymore.
My favorite life, by far, was that of Brunelleschi. It was very amusing. In any case - I highly suggest this book to anyone who even remotely likes Renaissance art. It is fun and amusing - and you can choose to read only a few of the selections, rather than the whole thing! Jul 27, Amber rated it really liked it Shelves: art-nerd-sensibilities , people-who-lived , imports , non-fiction , need-to-re-read. I read most of this when I was in college, studying art history. For fun. And maybe to impress my professor because I was taking a survey course of Italian Renaissance art.
I got the 4 volume set from the library and read the whole first volume, parts of the 2nd and 3rd and the pretty much all of volume 4 which was almost entirely about Michelangelo because Vasari was one of his BFF's. It's fun if you're into art history or if you're interested in totally non-objective information on art and arti I read most of this when I was in college, studying art history. It's fun if you're into art history or if you're interested in totally non-objective information on art and artists.
Sep 17, Bill Gusky rated it it was amazing. If you care about art it's a must-read. Overall, I quite enjoyed the varied lives depicted by Vasari. However, the more impactful point that I took from this book is Vasari's theories on the development of art. His prefaces are slightly long winded but they are the parts in which he sets forth his idea of the decline of art and it's eventual rebirth from Cimabue to Titian.
My only issues with the book are centred around the translators. I normally don't have an issue with an older style of English but I honestly found this translation Overall, I quite enjoyed the varied lives depicted by Vasari. I normally don't have an issue with an older style of English but I honestly found this translation irksome and incredibly long winded at points.
Phrases could have easily been updated by the editor. There is no translators note so I'm not aware of whether or not this is a special or famous translation. It's such a shame because I was loving the narratives. Besides this the editor provided good footnotes but bizzarely did not include any for Vasari's descriptions of the Academy of Florence. Vasari here writes the definitive historical biographies of the great artists of the Renaissance.
Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes by Kathleen Krull
His approach is largely to provide a series of anecdotes ostensibly in chronological order rather than a continuous narrative flow as in modern biography, but the events he recounts are always fascinating, sometimes humorous, and frequently insightful. Most interestingly, he provides a great deal of insight into the mind of the Renaissance and the motivations, desires, and values that underly arguab Vasari here writes the definitive historical biographies of the great artists of the Renaissance. Most interestingly, he provides a great deal of insight into the mind of the Renaissance and the motivations, desires, and values that underly arguably the greatest period in the history of artistic achievement.
If you are interested in Renaissance art, this book will provide a wealth of information to understand and appreciate it better. Jun 30, Caroline added it Shelves: philip-wardbooks , arts. Listened to the Naxos abridged audio version. It was interesting to me the way he presented artists which was very different than any Art History book I've ever read.
Most Modern Art Historians tell you why the artist is important and what he or she did for art but I've never heard it said that this artist's work was so beautiful that you wonder if he is human or if his hand was touched by God -- That's how Vasari presents the artists. He puts a lot of his own opinion in the biography of these artists and their works.
I really enjoyed reading his opinion because by the third artist I realized that sometimes Vasari's opinion of what was great art was completely different than my own opinions. It made me think that maybe it's because so much has happened in art through the centuries that time and modernism may have changed the way we look at art. It was very interesting. I even read all of the biography of Michalangelo even though he wasn't my favorite artist to begin with, Vasari loved him so much that I think I like Michaelangelo better now.
I also re-discovered some artists such as Antonio da Corregio and Andrea Mantegna, who I forgot about, though I do not know why. Nov 16, Erik rated it it was amazing. This is my first candidate for the "what if you were marooned on a desert island" list. Apr 22, Karen rated it it was ok. This book is chock full of information of the artists of the Renaissance. I only read sections of it, mostly pertaining to artists whose work I had recently seen on a trip to Florence. It's a bit dry, as in, the artist was born, he did this, then he did that, then he died. It does give a good look at how the artists were perceived in their lifetimes for those who are truly invested in this topic.
Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects
Jun 04, Rose Eccua rated it it was amazing. This book is very amazing!! View 1 comment. Apr 13, Castles rated it it was amazing Shelves: art. When you hold this book on your hand or in your Kindle! Not just a collection of biographies, Vasari is surprisingly a good storyteller as well, finding the connections and continuity between the artists and along the years and the development in the arts.
This book took me a relatively long time to finish. For all this and more, the importance of this book cannot be stressed enough.