The Bishop’s Palace in Arezzo is celebrating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) with an exhibit that unveils his intimate, spiritual side with works never before shown to the public.
“Giorgio Vasari: Santo e’ bello” – which opened yesterday – focuses on the artist’s little-known commissions for the Brotherhood of Towns, located near his home turf of Arezzo, which he carried out from 1549 to 1573.
“From these works, undoubtedly lesser known, we can enjoy the freshness and the immediacy of Vasari as an intimate, religious painter, who manages to overcome the grandiloquence of the great pictorial cycles, free from the constraints of power,” explained the curator, Daniela Galoppi.
She says the exhibit proves Vasari was more than a “great mediator of art”, “a hasty painter”, and – in the opinion of many – “a good architect”.
Works on show include a number of banners Vasari painted and his “Christ in the Garden”, on loan for the first time from the Cloister of Camaldoli. There are also two wooden panels depicting San Donato and San Domenico, originally the lateral leaves of “The Annunciation” housed in the Louvre in Paris, and commissioned for the destroyed Arezzo church, Santa Maria Novella.
“The Garden of Gethsemane”, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo