Venice experienced a flurry of art writing around the middle of the sixteenth century. These works were part of an emerging body of texts that were published in Italian rather than Latin on various secular subjects, incuding love, beauty, women, music, and manners. Such books were written as much to entertain as to instruct. The writings on art represent a wide variety of forms and concerns, from descriptions of aristocratic collections to discourses on the symbolic meaning of colours. These works played an invaluable role by disseminating a vocabulary for analysing and appreciating art. They established an intellectual approach to artistic matters and aesthetic debates that had farreaching implications for the development of art writing.