Why Mona Lisa Smiles and Other Tales by Vasari

Why Mona Lisa Smiles and Other Tales by Vasari

Book - 1991
Rate this:
Pennsylvania State Univ Pr

Art history as we know it would not exist without Vasari, and Barolsky shows us that something of the same claim should be made for literary history. He demonstrates the ways in which a literary approach to Vasari's book deepens our understanding of its historical, art-historical, and imaginative character. Why Mona Lisa Smiles discusses Vasari's shrewd, witty, intimate awareness of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio and relates the Lives to the works of Castiglione, Aretino, Cellini, and Rabelais. Barolsky reveals the unexpected fantasy of Vasari, who imagined and then invented artists and works of art, totally fabricating the lives of artists about whom he knew little or nothing. Barolsky traces the myth of Pygmalion through the Lives, demonstrating that Vasari was himself a Pygmalion in words and showing how he wittily played on the names of artists, revealing these poetical fantasies as part of the very iconography of Renaissance art. By approaching the Lives as a combination of genres—biography, history, novella, autobiography, novel, and literary banquet—Barolsky connects Vasari's highly fictionalized history to the modern historical novel. The fictional character of Vasari's book should not be ignored or dismissed by art historians, Barolsky insists, since it is itself a historical document—the record of how a painter and writer of extraordinary sensibility beheld works of art at a particular moment in history. Barolsky's unique approach to the Lives makes this study a valuable contribution to the history of the reception of art.



Publisher: University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, [1991]
Copyright Date: ©1991
ISBN: 9780271007199
0271007192
Branch Call Number: 709.2 VASAR
Characteristics: xiv, 128 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at GL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top