VASARI, Giorgio (1511-74). Le vite de' piu eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori. Florence: Giunta, 1568. Parts 1 and 2 (of 3) in one volume, 4° (241 x 168mm). Woodcuts: architectural and figural title-borders composed of two blocks and with inset vignette view of Florence at bottom, allegorical woodcut on verso of part I title, medallion portrait of Vasari on B4v, 115 large medallion portraits of artists, set within different borders of female figures representing the arts, 8 borders with portrait spaces left blank, woodcut initials, typographic ornaments, with the stamped last line on K4v (vol. I), with the Ms. correction on TT3r (vol. I) as in Mortimer. (Some spotting, 3S3-3S4 in part I with small marginal repairs, light yellowing to title of second part and following leaf.) Contemporary limp vellum, manuscript title on spine (joints splitting, small tear to head of spine, small stains). Provenance: Compagnia del Gesú (book label and stamp on title).
SECOND, REVISED AND AUGMENTED, AND FIRST ILLUSTRATED EDITION. 'THE FIRST MODERN HISTORY OF ART' (PMM). Vasari's monumental collection of biographies of the principal Italian artists and architects of the Renaissance--the word 'Renaissance' was coined by him--including the then under-appreciated Cimabue and Giotto, was first published in 1555. This second edition is greatly expanded, adding biographies of 28 more recent artists, including Titian, an autobiography and a treatise on artistic techniques. The expressive woodcut portraits were designed by Vasari and cut by various wood engravers including a 'Maestro Christofano', either Cristoforo Coriolano or Cristoforo Chrieger. Although some of his histories contain apocryphal anecdotes, Vasari's work remains an outstanding authority. Adams V-296; Brunet V, 1096: 'rare et très recherché'; Gamba 1725; Mortimer Italian 515; PMM 88.