Giovan Pietro Bellori's The Lives of the Modern Painters, Sculptors, and Architects published in 1672 is one of the most important and influential source texts of the 17th century. The unbroken research interest proofs the undisputed significance of Bellori's writings long appreciated both for its literary complexity and as a source for methodological and art-historiographical research as much as for its documentary qualities.
The critical bilingual edition of the biographies promoted by the research department of Tristan Weddigen now makes a German translation of the biographies available for the first time. It is printed by the Wallstein publishing house in 13 successive volumes beginning in 2018. The critical edition allows a juxtaposition with the Italian original and offers expert commentary on the latest research findings with an accompanying essay to each of the biographies examining their historiographical, art-theoretical and source-critical content.
The Bellori edition is the result of a research project funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation). Each member of the expert working group was responsible for writing the annotation to one or more of the biographies. The intensive work on the translation, some of which carried out by the researchers themselves, may be considered the heuristic basis of this edition. The essays and commentary reflect the latest research findings into Bellori's language, its terminology and semantic complexity. The edition identifies internal correlations among the different Vite and questions the research theorem that defines Bellori as the theoretician of the classical current within the Roman Seicento.