A new film, Le memorie di Giorgio Vasari, premiered at the Bari International Film Festival in April of this year. Vasari, the painter, architect, and historian of art, was an eclectic figure of the Italian Renaissance. I got to see the film today at the best movie theater in the world, the Odeon in Florence’s historic center. It was a feast for the eyes!
Luca Verdone directed the film and captured, together with the cinematographer, Gianluca Gallucci, the deep, rich, saturated colors of the Italian world in which Vasari lived. The story is told in first person, with Vasari himself telling us rather idiosyncratic events in Vasari’s life and the works of art he created using the stylistic themes and content he learned from his masters, Michelangelo and Andrea Del Sarto.
Vasari's greatest fame today is not so much linked to his works as tohis treatise, The Lives of the most excellent Italian painters, sculptors and architects, from Cimabue to the present time, published in 1550 and reissued with additions in 1568. A treatise "of a technical and historical-critical nature on the 3 major arts (architecture, sculpture and painting) was a milestone in the study of the life and works of the more than 160 artists included. Luca Verdone has brought to life the story of an important artist anddesigner, one who has never before been brought to the big screen.
If Vasari isn’t playing at a theater near you, you can learn about him in these two fine BBC documentaries.