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Editorial Reviews

Giorgio Vasari (1511-74) was born during one of the greatest eras of art, and five centuries later his work gives readers a contemporary window on the Renaissance. In these excerpts from his massive work, Vasari not only describes the artists’ major works, but shares personal reflections about the men themselves. Narrator Neville Jason, who also has chosen and abridged the selections, is skillful with the Italian and clearly shares Vasari’s ear for entertaining anecdotes.

Publisher's Summary

An Italian Mannerist architect and painter, Giorgio Vasari was acquainted with many of the most famous artists of his day. He is best-known today for his biographies of artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian and Giotto. This recording is read with clarity and authority by Neville Jason.

©2008 Naxos Audiobooks; (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks

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A Personal History

Where does The Lives of the Artists rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As an educational read it ranks near the top.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lives of the Artists?

The very human tendencies of some of the most brilliant artists of all time. Like the fact that Donatello, I believe, eschewed money to the extent that he hung from the ceiling of his studio a basket where he placed all his commissioned earnings. The money was there for anyone working for him to take as needed, for personal or artistic needs.

What about Neville Jason’s performance did you like?

A nice voice that gives a very continental flavor to the story.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It affirmed for me the great glory of the genius of the Renaissance artists from Cimabue to Giotto, to Donatello through to DaVinci and Michelangelo.

Any additional comments?

It was a step back in time. However, comments at the end may have been helpful to identify where many of these masterpieces are today. Vasari was giving a contemporary account. Now the works of art he describes are now housed in some of the most famous museums in the world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent if the music was removed.

Would you listen to The Lives of the Artists again? Why?

Yes. As Vasari lived in the time of the Master artists, and gave his view of how they were perceived in his day.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Vasari himself, the way he talks about other artist; 'Leonardo da Vinci was frivolous'; could not complete anything before moving on to something else, or the artist that boiled 50 eggs at a time for eating, whilst he was making his egg mixture for tempera!

Which scene was your favorite?

I haven't finished the book yet. But there is a lot to take in, which makes you want to stop pause and talk about. I will definitely be listening to this book a few more times, start to finish, to learn a lot of past artist names, the way they perceived art and the way they were treated by their own people of their time.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Vasari's View

Any additional comments?

The music between chapters is the real killer of the book. If the music went for 2 - 5 seconds and at a lower decibel, it may be bearable. Instead it last for up to 25 seconds by this stage I’m murderous. Only a Classis organ player would enjoy that part.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Samantha
  • Tempe, AZ United States
  • 11-30-17

I cannot recommend this more highly...

Giorgio Vasari describes the art, artists, and contemporary events of the Italian Renaissance as only an actual artist of the time could do. The narration is wonderful, the speaker's voice both melodious and interesting. I appreciated the music played between each chapter, as it added to the atmosphere of stories being told about artists by someone who actually knew and worked with them.

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Great performance

Performance and translation of this great work are wonderful. Highly recommended to all art lovers.

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Best version I have found!

I have tried to read this several times but the interpretations were tedious and boring. This version is more accessible and allows Vasari's charm and humor to shine. Loved it.