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The Vasari Century
Florentine Draughtsmen of the Cinquecento

An Exhibition of the Kupferstichkabinett, in collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max Planck Institut on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574)

As well as two original copies of his 'Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects' (one first edition from 1550 and a second edition from 1568), the exhibition also includes a small but impressive selection of freehand drawings executed by 16th century Florentine painters and sculptors. Besides works by Vasari himself, also on display are several sheets by his friends, colleagues and successors, as well as drawings from the generation before him, by his teachers and role models. Vasari tackled the creative work of many of these artists in his 'Lives', including that of Fra Bartolomeo, Andrea del Sarto and Franciabigio, Baccio Bandinelli and Benvenuto Cellini, Jacopo Pontormo and Francesco Salviati, Giambattista Naldini and Jacopo Zucchi.

This one-room show thus offers visitors an overview of the development of the Florentine style of drawing during Giorgio Vasari's own lifetime. Portrait and figure studies feature alongside landscape sketches and compositional sketches. All of which reveal, besides the differing individual styles and graphic techniques of the various artists, the formation of that particular, Florentine ideal of 'disegno', which was based on the clarity of line and whose foremost exponent was Vasari himself, in his capacity as historian and theoretician.

Exhibition catalogue (Edition Minerva) written by Heiko Damm and Dagmar Korbacher.

In Ergänzung zu seinen 'Vite' versuchte Vasari auch die Entwicklungsgeschichte der Handzeichnung zu dokumentieren. Im Laufe seines Lebens erwarb er deshalb zahlreiche Beispiele von verschiedenen Künstlern, die ihm als unverwechselbarer Ausdruck ihrer persönlichen 'maniera' galten, und fasste sie in mehreren Bänden seines so genannten 'Libro de' Disegni' zusammen, aus dem hier ebenfalls ein Blatt gezeigt werden kann. Ausgestellt sind zudem die Erstausgaben (1550 und 1568) der beiden Editionen von Vasaris "Lebensbeschreibungen der berühmtesten Maler, Bildhauer und Architekten".

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