Giorgio Vasari's Fine Arts: Neoplatonic Visualization of Invention, Imitation and Beauty


  • Liana De Girolami Cheney University of Massachusetts - Lowell (EUA)



During the sixteenth century, artists consulted emblematic and mythological manuals as a source for their visual conceits. With a moral overtone, these manuals contain verbal and visual representations of virtues, vices, passions and temperaments, revealing a Neoplatonic philosophy. This essay analyzes Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574)’s assimilation of Neoplatonism in his artistic concepts of invention, imitation and beauty depicted as visual conceits in woodcuts of The Fine Arts in the Vite (1550 and 1568 editions, figs. 1 and 2) and in his paintings of Fame and the Fine Arts (1542 and 1560, figs. 3-6 and 7-11) in his homes at Arezzo and Florence. The conception for these visual designs reveal Neoplatonic influence based on Vasari’s aesthetic and art theory.


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How to Cite

Cheney, L. D. G. (2019). Giorgio Vasari’s Fine Arts: Neoplatonic Visualization of Invention, Imitation and Beauty. Figura: Studies on the Classical Tradition, 1, 54–79.