Osservazioni sulle molte maniere di Giorgio Vasari architetto
In: Quaderni dell'Istituto di Storia dell'Architettura: n.s. 2019, 2020
Observations on the «many manners» of Giorgio Vasari’s architectural works
As it is well known, Giorgio Vasari held Michelangelo in the highest regard and already in the 1550 edition of his Vite, while the master was still alive, he got to the point of considering him to be «something rather divine than earthly». It is therefore surprising that only in a limited number of cases the architectural works of Vasari appear to be influenced by Michelangelo’s innovation of the classical language of architecture. This apparent paradox is explained by Vasari himself in a passage of the 1568 edition of Vite, where he states that Michelangelo’s mastery of arts is unattainable, so an artist should not attempt to imitate his style, but rather aspire to achieve his own distinctive manner through acquiring the best from a multiplicity of models. In the second part of the essay, the author shows where the actual models of Vasari’s architectural language are to be sought: Rome in the early decades of the century on one side, the great Tuscan tradition on the other.