Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574) was an Italian Renaissance Master, who worked as a painter, architect, engineer, writer, and historian, who is best known for his work The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of all art-historical writing, and the basis for biographies of several Renaissance artists, including Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Vasari designed the Tomb of Michelangelo in the Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence that was completed in 1578. Based on Vasari's text in print about Giotto's new manner of painting as a rinascita (rebirth), author Jules Michelet in his Histoire de France (1835) suggested the adoption of Vasari's concept, using the term Renaissance (rebirth, in French) to distinguish the cultural change. The term was adopted thereafter in historiography and still is in use today.

Artist: Maria Carmela Colaneri


Depicts a self-portrait of Giorgio Vasari with decorations from the cover of the book The Lives (Italian: Le Vite); below, the name of the designer, around the county name.

The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (Italian: Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori), often simply known as The Lives (Italian: Le Vite), is a series of artist biographies written by 16th-century Italian painter and architect Giorgio Vasari.

Vasari published the work in two editions with substantial differences between them; the first edition, two volumes, in 1550 and the second, three volumes, in 1568 (which is the one usually translated and referred to). One important change was the increased attention paid to Venetian art in the second edition, even though Vasari still was, and has ever since been, criticised for an excessive emphasis on the art of his native Florence.



Depicts a detail from an engraving by Vasari which represents a female figure holding the book "Le Vite" with her left hand and a vase full of wheat in the right. In the background a decorating ellipsoidal element drawn from an old engraving by the artist with the value in center and the mintmark on the left (R).

1511 2011

Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Silver
Fineness 0.925
Weight 22 g
Diameter 34 mm
Thickness -
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Italian State Mint and Polygraphic Institute (IPZS)

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500th Anniversary of Birth of Giorgio Vasari

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