VASARI, Giorgio
(b. 1511, Arezzo, d. 1574, Firenze)

St Luke Painting the Virgin

Fresco, 320 x 293 cm
Santissima Annunziata, Florence

The sheer scale of his book, the Lives of the Artists reveals just how much Vasari did to dignify his profession and not just himself. He was acutely conscious of the roles the artist could play in a cultured society and he did his best to live as well as to promote the part. He was instrumental in founding the Accademia del Disegno in Florence in the early 1560s and contributed its keynote fresco, St Luke Painting the Virgin, to its chapel with the same dedication at Santissima Annunziata.

The Cappella di San Luca (Chapel of St Luke) is a memorial chapel for artists in Santissima Annunziata, Florence. It has belonged to the artists confraternity or the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno since 1565. Many artists are buried in its vault, including Benvenuto Cellini, Pontormo, Franciabigio, Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli and Lorenzo Bartolini.

The two figures in the right foreground of Vasari's St Luke Painting the Virgin have been identified as Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli and his pupil Martino, who was the second artist to be buried in the chapel after Pontormo.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.