Saturday, 23 July 2011


I'm reading Giorgio Vasari's "The Lives of the Artists".  In reading this it got me to thinking about what kind of person Vasari was.  Living during the 1500's he wrote about the artists of the time such as Donatello, Rapheal, Leonardo da Vinci, and his friend Michelangelo.  What if he was just one of those people who is "full of it."  You know the type.  They make stuff up to make it appear as if they really are hot poop.

Now I know historians would have torn his works apart (and have) and have made corrections where warrented, but how do we know if the more intimate stories he tells are true. 

Then I got to wondering after reading about Donatello and Michelangelo and Rapheal how they would feel about being imortalized the way they are today.  You know....as Teenaged Muntant Ninja Turtles.  Cause if I mention their names that's what alot of the younger generation thinks about;-)  I haven't read Leonardo's biography yet, but seeing as he was quite the inventor he might get a kick out of the whole movie/television thing but who knows. 

How these people live just seems so far from what I think of as an artist today.  They are so singular in their purpose that they remind me more of, well....... nerds.  Computer nerds to be exact.  If they lived today I wonder if they would still make art/architecture their career choice.  I guess God plants us where we'd grow best.
Out of all of these I think I'd like to meet Michelangelo (although I'd love to watch Leonardo paint the Mona Lisa!) the best. 
After reading Vasari's work I now realize that in the Universe there is God, then his most perfect human creation Michelangelo and then the rest of the world.  He filled many pages with his praises about how perfect Michelangelo was in every way.  Describing him physically and mentally.  Geez Vasari...get a room or something.  He sounds a bit like renaissance version of a stalker.   One example is he sent over 40lbs of candles at 2 in the morning to Michelangelo as a gift.  Who does that?  Seriously?  2am?  Michelangelo didn't accept gifts from people as he didn't want to ever be indebted to anyone and tried to return them but Vasari's servant said,


"Mike dude, (now I'm paraphrasing here) it's 40lbs of candles, and my arms are tired after walking all the way over here at 2am in the friggin' morning.  If you don't take 'em I'm gonna stick 'em in the dirt and light 'em all on your front lawn."


Michelangelo told him he wasn't up for that kind of practical joke at 2 in the morning and accepted them.


Now to be fair to Vasari, Michelangelo rarely slept so the guy was probably already up if we are to believe Vasari.  But who really knows. 

Any how, this whole thing got me thinking about how it would be to meet some of these people.  Would they be as fabulous as history would have us believe?  Humble and frugal and rich and smart and perfect in every way?  And how will today's artists be seen in the future?  Will there even be some who will hold a place in history as these "greats" do?  I'm thinking no.  Probably not.  I believe the birth of some of the technological advances we've made will foreshadow everything else from our time 500 years from now.  But again, who knows.  I guess time will tell.

4 comments:

Kurt said...

i got to spend fifteen minutes of so with "The Lady with the Ermine" in Krakow. mostly by myself. A memorable experience.

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

I'm jealous.

Patti said...

I read Vasari back in college, but you made me want to pick it back up again ... now what box would that one be in? (yeah, I'm back to reading again)

As for the TMNTs, I think once they got the concept of a ninja melded with a turtle, all 4 artists would probably be thrilled with the idea, and then go back to their work.

Serena said...

Yep, a bunch of nerds! lol