Siena Library buys a rare example Vite di Vasari – Tuscany

3 volumes with Zuccari annotations considered lost by scholars

(ANSA) – FLORENCE, 16 DEC – A rare and precious example of Giorgio Vasari’s “Lives”, bought at auction by the Municipal Library of the Intronati of the Municipality of Siena, finds a home in the City of the Palio. The three volumes that make up the edition of the ‘Lives of the most excellent painters, sculptors and architects’, it is explained in a note, are those published by Giunti in Florence in 1568, second version enlarged and revised by the artists’ biographer, and have the characteristic of preserving annotations, among which those of the painter Federico Zuccari (1539-1609) stand out, preserved in the third volume.
The same artist had annotated two other copies of the same Vasari edition, one today at the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris and the other at the Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid. The specimen purchased from the Municipal Library of the Intronati is the one used by the scholar Gaetano Milanesi for the two editions of Vasari’s Lives edited by him, first in 1846-1857 and then between 1878 and 1885. Of these volumes of the Lives then every trace, so much so that most scholars believed them by now lost. Some signs present in the first and third volumes allow us to trace, it is explained, with a certain precision the events of the specimen which probably soon passed into the hands of Siena, but the strong link of these Lives with the Municipal Library of the Intronati, of which Gaetano Milanesi was librarian, it is also confirmed by the fact that the Sienese institution preserves all the ‘Milanese papers’, that is the manuscripts and correspondence of Gaetano and Carlo Milanesi. The Pandolfini auction house announces that together with Vasari’s Lives, sold for 43,750 euros, a copy of Manetti’s Natural History of Birds (sold for 85,000 euros) and the 1575 copy of the fifth edition in Latin in fine coeval coloring of the Theatrum orbis terrarum of the Ortelius (sold for 48,750 euros). (HANDLE).