Vasari – Lives Of The Artists - Cimabue

Preston, England
April 11, 2016 3:34pm CST
The first artist biography in Vasari’s biographical series is the artist seen as the father of the Renaissance, of who there are few surviving records outside of Vasari’s detailed little essay. Cimabue was sent to university by his parents who hoped his talent for writing would flourish, but it was his obsessive drawing that gained academic attention and respect. Greek artists and architects had been hired by the Florentine gentry to oversee the redevelopment of the city’s churches and civic buildings. Cimabue often absconded from school to watch the artists at work and marvel at their craft. Cimabue’s parents realised his true calling and took him from college to get him employed as an apprentice to the artists. Cimabue soon surpassed them in skill, for they were working fast to gain commissions while he savoured his art, focusing on the mythological traditions rather than imbuing them with crude modern Gothic formalism as the hired artists were inclined to do. He was soon working alone or as the leader of teams of artists in decorating Florentine monasteries. He created many Biblical scenes often in the style of Grecian / Roman art. Jesus would be surrounded by saints and angels. He did a famous study of Mary, the mother of Jesus being carried to Heaven by angels after her death, an event not recorded in the New Testament. Vasari lamented that many of Cimabue’s paintings suffered for being kept in dark dusty storage rather than being displayed in great light for all to admire. He was so sought after that he often left one church assignment uncompleted to take assignment at the next. His fame was astonishing. His Deposition Of The Cross (Jesus being taken down from the cross after his death) study at was unveiled by King Charles of Anjou. One of Cimabue’s great innovations was adding text to the painting, with Latin Biblical quotations mixed in with the visual art, something never seen before. He was a perfectionist and easily hurt by criticism. If his work received the slightest negative feedback he would destroy it and start to create it again. Cimabue died in 1302, in Pisa, aged 60, and one of his own apprentices was the artist Giotto. The link is to Cimabue’s Last Supper which gives halos to all the Apostles including Judas. Arthur Chappell
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search Maestà di Santa Trinità, 1280–1285, Uffizi Gallery, Florence Cimabue (Italian: [t?ima'bu?e]; c. 1240 – 1302),[1] also known as Cenni di Pepo[2] or Cenni di Pepi,[3] was a Florentine painter
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2 responses
@marguicha (100174)
• Chile
11 Apr 16
I have never heard of him although maybe I have seen some of his works when we were at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
11 Apr 16
@marguicha it is very likely you will have seen his work in Italy, especially Florence and Pisa
@Corbin5 (113013)
• United States
11 Apr 16
Never knew of his artist, but I am sure I have seen his work. Will take a look!
1 person likes this