Ascanio Condivi


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(b Ripatransone, nr. San Benedetto, 1525; d nr. Ripatransone, 10 Dec. 1574).

Italian painter, sculptor, and writer, a pupil and friend of Michelangelo. He was an insignificant artist and his only claim to fame is his Life of Michelangelo, published in Rome in 1553. Three years earlier the first edition of Giorgio Vasari's Lives had appeared, and Michelangelo seems to have taken exception to some of the statements made there. Condivi's Life was meant as a corrective, and he writes not only from intimate personal knowledge, but obviously at times almost at dictation from the master. Johannes Wilde (Michelangelo, 1978) considers that Condivi was a ‘simpleton’ who could not have composed ‘such an eminently readable book’ unaided, and thinks that Annibale Caro (1507–66), a humanist man of letters, was probably the ghost writer.

Subjects: Art.

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