Patrons VS. Artists

According to McKay, “artists in the Renaissance didn’t produce unsolicited pictures or statues for the general public, but usually worked on commission from patrons” (425). Working with patrons was the way of surviving as well as producing art because there were not much choices for artists back then. To earn a living by making art, you had to have a patron that supports you financially. These “bosses” were not that easy to handle though. The level of patron’s involvement in art works varied. Some patrons “simply ordered a specific subject or scene”, while some bossier patrons “oversaw the work of the artist or architect very closely, suggesting themes and styles and demanding changes while the work was in progress” (McKay 425). Some patrons rewarded the artists very well; for example Leonardo da Vinci was making almost seven times a princely fashionable person earns annually (McKay 425).

I wanted to know if there were any artists that didn’t follow the patrons’ guidelines, but there was no information about that. Maybe earning a living is more important than art after all. Comparing to making art for the churches, working for patrons definitely was the better choice.

McKay states “the right patrons rewarded certain artists very well” (425). Lorenzo de’ Medici was one of the famous patrons; he supported Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Sandro Botticelli. These three were the most famous artists, and still famous nowadays. Was it Medici’s financial support that gave them the opportunity to make great art work, or did Medici have a great insight that knows that they would be famous?

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4 comments

  1. hiawatha123

    Hey Ashley, i loved your post and i thought it was very interesting. I just have one question, Do you know of any Artist’s that were famous without Patrons?or to be a famous artist back then was a patron needed?Thanks-Hiawatha

  2. jisoo966

    Hi Ashley! Nice post! It was interesting to know that patrons supported artists financially. I would also want to know if there was any artists that did not follow patrons’ directions. Do you think the famous artists that you mentioned could not be famous if they did not have any patron’s help? Thanks for your post!
    -Jisoo

  3. davidz123

    Hi Ashley, it’s a really interesting post! But how do you think the artists without patrons were going to survive? Were they going to work for church? Thanks!
    -David

  4. Great post, Ashley! Do you know of any famous artists who never worked for patrons?

    Thanks,
    Ajay

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