Giorgio Vasari, painter and architect, belonging to that eclectic season that marks the transition to Mannerism, was born July 30, 1511 in Arezzo and died in Florence in 1574. More than for his artistic production, Giorgio Vasari is primarily remembered for his work as a historian and art critic for the "Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, sculptors, and architects" of which a first edition dates back to 1550 and a more expanded edition to 1568.
Although very young, he became apprentice of G. de Pierre de Marcillat, a very skillful painter in making stained glass. After that experience, he moved to Florence to continue his studies. In 1529 he visited Rome, where he studied the works of Raffaello and other artists of the Roman Renaissance; the study and the inspiration to the art of Michelangelo and Raffaello are evident in his paintings.
His best paintings are in Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, where Cosimo I de 'Medici appointed him Minister of Cultural Heritage and ordered him, as an architect, to magnify the power of the Medici. He designed the Uffizi, the Corridoio Vasariano, and especially transformed the interior of Palazzo Vecchio in a magnificent residence, starting from the creation of Salone dei Cinquecento with the ceiling fresco of the Triumph of the Prince, and the frescoes on the walls to celebrate the victories of Cosimo over Tuscan cities. Then in 1570 by request of Francis, son of Cosimo I, designed a private space in Palazzo Vecchio for the arts and alchemy.
Here the genius of Vasari gave birth to a small space but of huge artistic impact. This room is on the first floor of Palazzo Vecchio, and it is shaped like a treasure chest. Painted by the best painters of the time, the paintings hide secret drawers and doors used to contain the material for the experiments.
Having amassed a considerable fortune, both as a painter as an architect, Giorgio Vasari returned to Arezzo in 1547 where he built a beautiful home. The artist decorated the walls and vaults with paintings. Today, this house has been turned into a museum.