Sammarinese commemorative 2 euro coins - The 500th anniversary of the birth of Giorgio Vasari
Commemorative 2 euro coins from San Marino
Description: The central part of the coin shows a detail of the painting by Giorgio Vasari "Giuditta decapita Oloferne" (Judith Beheading Holofernes). On the bottom, the dates "1511-2011", on the left "G. Vasari" and the mintmark "R", on the right the name of the issuing country "San Marino" and the initials of the author Claudia Momoni "CM ". The twelve stars of the European Union surround the design on the outer ring of the coin.
Reverse: left from the coin centre face value: 2, on the right inscription: EURO; in the background of the inscription a map of Europe; in the background of the map vertically six parallel lines ending on both sides with five-pointed stars (the reverse is common for all euro coins)
Issuing volume: 130,000 coins
Date of issue: June 2011
Face value: 2 euro
Diameter: 25.75 mm
Thickness: 2.2 mm
Weight: 8.5 gr
Composition: Alloy (Nk/Ng), ring Cupro Nickel (75% copper - 25% nickel clad on nickel core), center Nickel brass (75% copper - 20% zinc - 5% nickel)
€2 Edge Inscription: The Sammarinese €2 coin edge inscription is '2', followed by one star, repeated six times alternately upright and inverted.
Mint Location: Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato (IPZS) (State Printing Office and Mint), in Rome, Italy.
Mint Marks: Mintmark of the Rome mint: the letter 'R'. Located at the lower right, inner circle.
National Identification: Text: SAN MARINO
When still a child, Vasari was the pupil of Guglielmo de Marcillat, but his decisive training was in Florence, where he enjoyed the friendship and patronage of the Medici family, trained within the circle of Andrea del Sarto, and became a lifelong admirer of Michelangelo. As an artist Vasari was both studious and prolific. His painting is best represented by the fresco cycles in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and by the so-called 100-days fresco, which depicts scenes from the life of Pope Paul III, in the Cancelleria in Rome. Vasari’s paintings, often produced with the help of a team of assistants, are in the style of the Tuscan Mannerists and have often been criticized as being facile, superficial, and lacking a sense of colour. Contemporary scholars regard Vasari more highly as an architect than as a painter. His best-known buildings are the Uffizi in Florence, begun in 1560 for Cosimo I de’ Medici, and the church, monastery, and palace created for the Cavalieri di San Stefano in Pisa. These designs show the influence of Michelangelo and are outstanding examples of the Tuscan Mannerist style of architecture.
Vasari’s fame rests on his massive book Le Vite de’ più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani… (1550, 2nd ed., 1568; Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, 1850–52, trans. of the 2nd ed.), which was dedicated to Cosimo de’ Medici. In it Vasari offers his own critical history of Western art through several prefaces and a lengthy series of artist biographies. These discussions present three periods of artistic development: according to Vasari, the excellence of the art of classical antiquity was followed by a decline of quality during the Dark Ages, which was in turn reversed by a renaissance of the arts in Tuscany in the 14th century, initiated by Cimabue and Giotto and culminating in the works of Michelangelo. A second and much-enlarged edition of Lives, which added the biographies of a number of artists then living, as well as Vasari’s own autobiography, is now much better known than the first edition and has been widely translated.
Vasari’s writing style in the Lives is anecdotal and eminently readable. When facts were scarce, however, he did not hesitate to fill in the gaps with information of questionable veracity. His bias toward Italian (and more specifically Tuscan) art is also undeniable. Despite these flaws, Vasari’s work in Lives represents the first grandiose example of modern historiography and has proven to be hugely influential. The canon of Italian Renaissance artists he established in the book endures as the standard to this day. Moreover, the trajectory of art history he presented has formed the conceptual basis for Renaissance scholarship and continues to influence popular perceptions of the history of Western painting.
Artists have mainly chosen one of two possible scenes (with or without the servant): the decapitation, with Holofernes prone on the bed, or the heroine holding or carrying the head. An exception is an early sixteenth-century stained glass window with two scenes. The central scene, by far the larger of the two, features Judith and Holofernes seated at a banquet. The smaller background scene has Judith and her servant stick Holofernes' head in a sack, the headless body standing behind with his arm waving helplessly.
In European art, Judith is very often accompanied by her maid at her shoulder, which helps to distinguish her from Salome, who also carries her victim's head on a silver charger (plate). However, a Northern tradition developed whereby Judith had both a maid and a charger, famously taken by Erwin Panofsky as an example of the knowledge needed in the study of iconography. For many artists and scholars, Judith's sexualized femininity interestingly and sometimes contradictorily combined with her masculine aggression. Judith was one of the virtuous women whom Van Beverwijck mentioned in his published apology (1639) for the superiority of women to men, and a common example of the Power of Women iconographic theme in the Northern Renaissance.
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