Art History Change in Patronage

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The change in the patronage system over the 14th century through the 17th century had a significant impact on the artworks during that time. Rulers, nobles, religious leaders, and the very wealthy people used patronage of the arts to endorse their social positions, prestige, and political ambitions. Art patronage was especially important in the creation of religious art. Such as the Roman Catholic Church sponsored art and architecture, as seen in cathedrals, churches, sculpture, paintings, and handicrafts. Historically, artist rarely undertook major artworks without a patron’s concrete commission (Mamiya 384). There are clear distinctions in patronage that result in different aesthetics which would include that of Northern and Italian Renaissance. Patrons could be a civic group, religious entity, private individual, or even the artists’ guild itself. Guilds are organizations that contribute to their city’s religious an artistic life by supporting financially buildings and the decoration of several churches and hospitals. Other art patrons included monastic orders, confraternities, and the popes. Aesthetic pleasure was just one way these art patrons derived from other ways included art, where the images served as testaments to the patron’s wealth, status, power, and knowledge (Mamiya 384). Artworks of that time were the product of a patron’s needs played a crucial part in the final work of any building, sculpture, or painting. The way it was normally done was the patrons would ask the artist to draw up a rough draft for approval, the patrons expected the artist the hired to adhere to the strict guidelines given. The contracts the patrons and artist had would usually state certain conditions such as the quality of pigment and amount of gold or other precious items to be used, completion date, payment terms, and penalties for failure to meet the contract’s terms of agreement (Mamiya 384). In all cases, artists would work for their patrons and they could count on...
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