M3D2: Patronage of the Arts

In today’s art world, artists are sometimes still commissioned to produce pieces, but more often than not, they produce pieces that they enjoy making, and then their art is displayed in a gallery for buyers to view and purchase. In the Renaissance, art galleries as we know them did not exist, and artists were considered craftsmen. All art was, essentially, commissioned by a patron, whether an individual or a guild or other institution, such as a church or religious order. The patron or patrons drew up a contract, often with the help of a notary, in which was specified all the details of the piece of art to be produced, including the details of the depiction itself and even the materials and paints to be used, since these could be costly. The contract also specified the timeframe for the work and the cost and payment to be made to the artist upon completion. Patronage of the arts played a prominent role in the economy, society, and culture of the Renaissance.

In its basic form, the Renaissance can be seen as the result of patronage of the arts by wealthy and powerful Italian rulers and merchants.

After reading and viewing the assigned material, discuss the following in your initial post: Analyze how patronage worked in the various Italian Renaissance city-states. What was the relationship between patrons and artists? Assess the role it played in the economy, society, and culture of Renaissance Florence, Rome, and Venice. Compare and contrast the main features in each city-state. Include at least one additional resource other than the textbook in your post. Your post should be about 250 words.

One Source must be: Zophy, J. W. (2008). A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe. New York, NY: Pearson College Division.

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