Patronage in Renaissance Italy: From 1400 to the Early 16th Century

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9780719553783: Patronage in Renaissance Italy: From 1400 to the Early 16th Century

This is a comprehensive study of patrons in the Italian quattrocento. It should be of interest to art historians and their students and to lovers of Renaissance art and civilization. At the start of the 15th century the patron, not the artist, was seen as the creator and he carefully controlled both subject and medium. In a competitive and violent age, image and ostentation were essential statements of power. Buildings, bronzes or tapestry were much more eloquent statements than the cheaper marble or fresco. The artistic quality that concerns us nowadays was less important then than perceived cost. The arts in any case were just part of a pattern of conspicuous expenditure which would have included for instance holy relics, manuscripts and jewels - all of which had the added advantage that they were portable and could be used as collateral for bank loans. Since Christian teaching frowned on wealth and power, money had also to be spent on religious endowments made in expiation. But here too the patron was in control, and used the arts and other means to express religious belief, not aesthetic sensibility. Thus artists in the Early Renaissance were employed as craftsmen. Only late in the century did their relations with patrons start to adopt a pattern we might recognize today. This book, which also discusses the important differences between mercantile republics like Florence and Venice, the princely states such as Naples and Milan, and the papal court in Rome, offers a fuller understanding of why the works of this seminal period take the forms they do.

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About the Author:

Mary Hollingsworth has a B.Sc. in business studies and a Ph.D. in art history. Her doctoral thesis dealt with the role of the architect in Italian Renaissance building projects and led to research on the role of the patron in the development of Renaissance art and architecture, a subject she taught to undergraduates and postgraduates, and published in two books (see below). Her subsequent work on the papers of Cardinal Ippolito d’Este considerably broadened her horizons, and expertise, well beyond the confines of art history into the everyday world of Renaissance Europe. She has published widely on these topics in academic journals and was one of the senior academics on the Material Renaissance Project, a collaborative project funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Board and the Getty Grant Program, which investigated costs and consumption in Italy 1300-1650.

Review:

"Hollingsworth pursues her subject from Florence to Venice, into five of Italy's independent princely states (Milan, Ferrara, Mantua, Urbino, and Naples) before ending with the papal court at Rome. She writes authoritatively, drawing on a vast store of knowledge." -- Sunday Times



"An absorbing study of fifteenth-century patrons and artists... A vivid, lively account of a complex society in which art was made to express the wealth, status, worldly concerns, and religious aspirations of its patrons." -- Art Quarterly

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Hollingsworth, Mary
Published by John Murray Publishers (1994)
ISBN 10: 0719553784 ISBN 13: 9780719553783
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Book Description John Murray Publishers, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110719553784

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