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What did the Renaissance Patron Buy?

  • Creighton E. Gilbert (a1)

Abstract

This paper is generated by the widespread opinion that Renaissance patrons usually kept creative control over works they commissioned. It analyzes two of the few instances usually cited and adds many more, some involving single works and some implicating a wide spectrum. A considerable range emerges. At one end artists, not only famous ones, can be deferred to as better experts on how themes are shown. At the other, patrons retain tight control of such unique themes as their family histories. A conclusion speculates on possible reasons for the strength of this opinion, in view of its fairly limited basis.

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