Modern day displays of wealth differ substantially than those of the renaissance period; these can be anything from the donation of a bench in a city park to wearing a pair of designer shoes. During the Renaissance this was not the case, it was more common to display ones wealth in a more sophisticated way. This was accomplished by the hiring of an artist to create a one-of-a kind piece of art, which sometimes would even include the wealthy patron in the artwork. This idea of individual artistry came into question during the Medici families reign in the city as an aristocratic family. Having a majority of the cities wealth the Medici family, after having kept their wealth secret decided to celebrate their wealth and display it for all. They planned to display this in the most flagrant of ways, making essentially an exact copy of the David statue (the cities symbol) and placing it in their own house, therefore proclaiming their wealth to anyone who steps inside the house (Donatello).
Nowadays, stepping foot into someone’s house and seeing a piece of art is extremely common however does not have the same type of significance as it would have in the Renaissance era. For those who could not afford replicas of city symbols in their house, could include colors to embellish their art therefore displaying their wealth, such as blue paint a, “semi precious stone” (Donatello). The most prominent way to display ones wealth through art however was the addition of gold to the statue or other forms of wealth.
In my opinion, one of the most contrasting ideas on the topic of Renaissance was in fact the concept of wealth and class membership of the artists themselves. How is it that the Artists themselves were not members of the upper class when they would be paid so much to create these magnificent pieces of art in which, some even containing gold? (Donatello) From my knowledge what I guessed was that the opportunities were scarce, in that few jobs would be provided to these artists each year, there are only so many jobs as upper class members if they were fortunate.
With the beginning of humanism came the modification of the art created during the time period. For starters, I learned that it was not only the moral of people that was developing (in pro-humanist thinking), but also the art began to include and be centered around the sponsor themselves as they would often have themselves illustrated in paintings, artists would, “sign their work” and “write autobiographies and memoirs” (Humanism in the Renaissance) This evidence suggesting to me that this was the start of the reign of the artists in the Renaissance period, blurring the lines between the wealthy and the poor to form a humanistic culture.
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