Sunday, February 12, 2012

From Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artist.

Just because this is so funny. I'm reading books from the fifteen hundreds right now. Vasari on the Florentine painter Paolo Uccello (1396/7-1475):
Paolo decorated the vaulting of the Peruzzi in fresco with triangular sections in perspective, and in the angles of the corner he painted the four elements, representing each by an appropriate animal: a mole for earth, a fish for water, a salamander for fire, and for air the chameleon, which lives on air and assumes any colour. Since he had never seen a chameleon, Uccello painted instead a camel which is opening its mouth and filling its belly by swallowing air...