The Istituto Poligrafico Zecca dello Stato, (Italian State Mint) have issued a new coin to mark the 500th anniversary of the birth of Giorgio Vassari, a celebrated artist, painter, architect, and extraordinary art historian. He is the author of “Lives of the most excellent Italian painters, sculptors and architects”, a milestone in the historiography of art which was published in 1550. As an architect, he contributed to the construction of the Uffizi in Florence, the Villa Giulia in Rome, and the Logge in Arezzo. His paintings of exceptional and allegorical subjects clearly show the influence of Michelangelo and Raphael.
The obverse of the coin features a representation of Vasari’s self portrait with a decorative element drawn from an engraving on the cover of his work “The Lives”. Below the portrait is the name of the coin’s designer “Colaneri” and the text around the edge reads: “Repubblica Italiana”. The reverse of the coin includes detail from an engraving by Vasari which depicts a female figure holding the book “Le Vite”. In the background is a decorative element drawn from an old engraving by the artist. In the centre, the face value of “10 Euro” is flanked by the year of Vasari’s birth “1511” and the year of issue”2011”. Below, on the left is the mintmark “R” and in the lower edge is the inscription “G. Vasari”.
The coin is struck in .925 (sterling) silver, with a weight of 22 grams and a diameter of 34 mm. Struck to proof quality, a mintage of only 7,000 pieces has been authorized for the issue.
For more information on this and other coins issued by the IPZS, please visit their website at: http://www.zecca.ipzs.it/