VASARI, Giorgio (1511-74). Le vite de' piu eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori. Florence: Giuta, 1568.
3 parts in 3 volumes, 4° (236 x 160mm). Roman and italic type. Woodcuts: architectural title border (repeated), vignette of Florence on first two title-pages, allegorical woodcut on first title verso, medallion portrait of Vasari, 144 artist portraits by "Maestro Christofano" [Cristoforo Coriolano or Chrieger], after Vasari, within one of six borders, woodcut initials, type-ornaments, Giunta device at end. With last line of vol. I, K4v stamped in, MS corrections on TT3r and 5Y3r and printed cancel label on 3R4r. (Title borders just shaved, a few minor wormholes, one blank corner replaced, faint spotting and browning, minor loss to 3rd title-border through adhesion, small hole in last leaf of vol. I, without blank 6H4.) 18th-century French red morocco gilt, floral gilt endpapers, gilt edges (minor rubbing at extremities). Provenance: Lord Battersea (bookplate -- Pierre Hollier Larousse (20th-century bookplate) -- Gianalisa Feltrinelli (blindstamp; sale Christie's New York, 7 October 1997, lot 110).
AN EXCEPTIONALLY FINE COPY OF THE FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION. Vasari is acknowledged as the father of art history, based on his Vite, the first critical study of art. In addition to artist biographies from Cimabue to Michelangelo, Vasari discusses artistic techniques, genres, aesthetics, and art theory. First published in 1550, the Vite was substantially augmented and corrected for this second edition. Vasari designed the fine series of artist portraits to illustrate it, and added his autobiography, discussions on gem-cutting, private collections, and other topics, and 28 new biographies. All subsequent editions of this highly important work derive from the 1568 edition. Adams V-296; Gamba 1725; Mortimer, Harvard Italian 515, PMM 85. (3)