Sent at a very young age to Florence as an apprentice to such prestigious figures as Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Andrea del Sarto (1486-1530), he worked as a painter, until his many sojourns in Rome, Bologna, Venice and Naples led to the recognition of his eclectic talents and to contacts with the most prominent celebrities of the period. His association with the Roman literary figures of Cardinal Farnese's circle led to the publication of his Vite de' pił eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori ("Lives of the Italian Painters, etc.", Florence, 1550). He won fame through commissions from Pope Julius III, was hired as a painter and architect by Cosimo I de' Medici (1519-1574) in Florence, where he turned Palazzo Vecchio into a luxurious residence, designed and oversaw the construction of the corridor, afterwards called the Vasari Corridor, which linked it to Pitti Palace, built the Uffizi, and restructured the churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce. Dividing his time between Florence and Arezzo, where his loggia project was carried out, he oversaw the decoration work on the Studiolo of Francesco I in Palazzo Vecchio and the dome of Florence's cathedral, which his death prevented him from completing. Besides being an artist he was a man of culture and founded, with Grand Duke Cosimo's blessing, the new Drawing Academy, and continued to travel around Italy, working on the second revised and expanded edition of his Lives of the Italian Painters (Florence, 1568), and on a series of theoretical and retrospective writings, all published posthumously. As organizer of the solemn funeral proceedings which Florence undertook to honor Michelangelo, he designed, among other things, his tomb in Santa Croce, which almost two centuries later would serve as the model for the sepulcher dedicated to Galileo.
Last update 18/gen/2008