Vasari enjoyed a highly successful and prolific career as a painter, draughtsman, designer, and architect but he is best known today as the author of the pioneering ‘Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects’ (1550; expanded edition, 1568). It earned him the reputation as the father of art history. He was one of the key exponents of High Mannerism in mid-sixteenth century Italy, and is credited with establishing it as the official style of Cosimo Medici’s court in Florence. He also worked in Rome for both the Pope and a number of private clients. During his life Vasari enjoyed the reputation and fortune of a great artist, however his work is not generally viewed with the same high regard today.