Exploring Books and Biographies
National gallery books showcasing books from the Library in the National Gallery. It highlights some of the most important contributions to the written world about artists. Technically advances rapidly transformed printing from a cottage industry to the cornerstone of western civilisation. And prosperity meant that there was a growing number of eager readers. There was also a trend towards publishing in the vernacular languages, which ensure a wider readership amongst the literate middle classes.
Encyclopaedias and dictionaries documenting the world became a popular way for spreading knowledge on a wider variety of subjects. Vasari pictured above was one of the first to produce a series of biographies on the lives of artists and brought lasting change to the way artists were studied and perceived. Eve Parnell, artist and librarian, whose work includes exhibits in the Pontifical Irish college in Rome, was very passionate about the exhibition and explained more to Miriam Gormally.