(b. 1511, Arezzo, d. 1574, Firenze)
Paul III Farnese Directing the Continuance of St Peter's1546
Palazzo della Cancellaria, Rome
Vasari had a well disciplined army of assistants, and with their aid he was able to cover numerous Florentine and Roman walls and ceilings with frescoes and oil paintings. While these are often unreal and pompous, they seldom lack decorative effect or historical interest. Enormous altarpieces from his studio line the side aisles of Florentine churches, vast battle scenes and smaller decorative works fill the halls and smaller chambers of the Palazzo Vecchio. His 'Paul III Farnese Directing the Continuance of St Peter's' forms part of the decoration of the Cancellaria in Rome, a building begun as a cardinal's palace and converted in the Cinquecento into offices for the pontifical government. Vasari and his pupils painted the frescoes lining the great hall in one hundred working days.