The Role of Patronage during the Renaissance

The Role of Patronage during the Renaissance/ Baroque Period (530 Words) The role of patronage during the Renaissance/ Baroque periods impacted art, artists, religious institutions and the public alike. Patrons’ motives varied from having the utmost control when commissioning art to providing a means of government to personal religious reasons. Patrons of art included the Church, government, aristocracy, guilds and wealthy merchants, such as the Medici.

In 1445, Florence, the Palazzo Medici began its construct through the commissioning of Architect Michelezzo by Cosimo de Medici to design not only his personal home for himself and his family, but also a place where company headquarters were established and business affairs were held. Although the home was grand in size and violated city laws, the feeling was to evoke and reflect modesty, poverty and charity. Not only did the Medici Palace reflect such things, the elements used in designing the building, such as the disks that bore the Medici arms, gave stability and a great aura of dignity, which would boost the owner’s status.

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This residence gave the Medici establishment within Florentine’s social hierarchy, as well as a symbol for others to emulate. The Palazzo Medici set a standard for which future Florentine architecture would be held accountable for. Just south of Florence, another patron of power seized his opportunity to commission a few gifted artists to interpret and invoke his own proud demands. From 1508-1511, Raphael was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint his private library, the Stanza Della Segnatura.

Julius had his own vision of ‘new, worldwide Church” in which he demanded his humanistic ideas to be reflected in the art he held patron to. Raphael executed his frescoes to the very detail that Julius requested and created a masterpiece that brought the worlds of theology, philosophy, the arts and justice together, achieving a balance between the Renaissance and Classical ideas. Working alongside Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donato Brumante, the combined minds of the gifted launched a new era of art in which the “High Renaissance” was born… thus setting a standard for the future.

Around the same time in the Netherlands, Hiermonious Bosch was commissioned presumably by Count Hendrick III of Nassau, a famed aristocrat, to paint a triptych for his Brussels home that happened to be displayed in a high traffic area. Garden of Earthly Delights, c 1505-1515, drew viewers‘ attention to the various scenes of the piece, interpreting and expressing a wide range of emotions and opinions, but ultimately giving private enjoyment to the patron, himself. In England, c. 1592, Sir Henry Lee commissioned Queen Elizabeth I’s portrait to Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger to be displayed in his Oxfordshire home.

Henry had once been the Queen’s Champion, but was retired because of his said relations to his mistress Anne Vavasour who was one of the Queen’s ‘ladies in waiting… a relationship in which Queen Elizabeth I disapproved. Through lavish entertainment, Henry hoped to regain Elizabeth’s favor… commemorating her visit and forgiveness with a portrait, also known as The Ditchley Portrait, where she is positioned standing on top of a map of the British Isles, surveying her dominions and recognizing her reign over England, as well as nature itself.

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