Changing Patrons: Social Identity and the Visual Arts in Renaissance Florence
Jill BurkeISBN: 0271023627;
To whom should we ascribe the great flowering of the arts in Renaissance Italy? Artists like Botticelli and Michelangelo? Or wealthy, discerning patrons like Cosimo de'Medici? In recent years, scholars have attributed great importance to the role played by patrons, arguing that some should even be regarded as artists in their own right. This approach receives sharp challenge in Jill Burke's Changing Patrons, a book that draws heavily upon the author's discoveries in Florentine archives, tracing the many profound transformations in patrons' relations to the visual world of fifteenth-century Florence. Looking closely at two of the city's upwardly mobile families, Burke demonstrates that they approached the visual arts from within a gridof social, political, and religious concerns. Art for them often served as a mediator of social difference and a potent means of signifying status and identity. Changing Patrons combines visual analysis with techniques from history and...
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