The Florence version (1550) of the book hardly has any illustrations. Only the title page is illustrated. The book is used as a catalogue of important artists, their lives, their work and the locations of their projects. It is shorter than the following version.
The Giunti version (1568) includes a title illustration for each artist. The illustrations are portraits of the artists – in profile. Then follows the literary profile of the artist. The table of contents is expanded. It should be possible to look up the artist (or the story behind a particular artefact) by either looking up the artist’s name, the name of the location, or the work itself. In practice however, the Giunti version has a few mistakes so that the name of the artist does not always correspond with the page. This makes it difficult to use as an “encyclopedia” of Renaissance artists.