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OverviewIn the so late fifteenth century, Florence had an ext woodcarvers than butchers, arguing that art, even more than meat, was a necessity of life. This to be true not just for the wealthy, but likewise for those of much more modest means. In 1472, the city boasted 54 workshops because that marble and stone; the employed 44 grasp gold- and silversmiths, and also at the very least thirty understand painters. Florence"s position in the wool and also silk markets relied on its call for quality—a heritage of craftsmanship that made discerning patrons that its merchants and financiers.Most commissions to be for religious works. Numerous banking families, because that example, viewed the resources of altarpieces and also chapels together a kind of penance for usury (moneylending in ~ interest), which to be condemned by the church yet inherent to their profession. As the 1400s progressed, however, patrons came to be increasingly interested in an individual fame and worldly prestige. Lavish, even ostentatious, public display became much more common, also as the fortunes the the city declined. New subjects from mythology discovered eager audience impressed through such proof of learning. And, through the finish of the century—for the very first time due to the fact that antiquity—some art was being made simply "for art"s sake."Among the greatest patrons in 15th-century Florence to be members of the an effective Medici family, who ruled as princes, though the city was, in name, a republic. The functions in this tour day from the time of Lorenzo de" Medici, the Magnificent, who Machiavelli dubbed "the greatest patron that literature and also art that any type of prince has ever been." return Lorenzo himself i was delegated relatively couple of major works, he was crucial arbiter of taste. One avid collector that Greek and also Roman antiquities, he aided imprint the Florentine Renaissance with the humanism the the ancient world.One of the artist employed by the Medici was Botticelli, a member the Lorenzo"s circle of poets and also scholars. Botticelli"s lyrical paints matched the cerebral refinement the Florence"s humanists, specifically the Neoplatonic philosophers, that saw beauty as a method to technique an expertise of the divine. Botticelli"s ethereal figures, characterized by line quite than modeled through light and also shadow, seem come float, their drapery billowing in graceful patterns. His subjects, both mythological and also religious, room imbued v lyricism and mystery.Despite their joy in pagan themes, many Florentine humanists continued to be deeply pious. In the 1480s and also 1490s, the Dominican friar Savonarola provided impassioned sermons attack luxury and the amorality of ancient gods. He attracted numerous followers, including, the seems, Botticelli, who abandoned supernatural subjects. After Lorenzo the Magnificent died in 1492, economic and political tragedies put Florence in the hands of Savonarola"s radical religious reformers. Vigilantes patrolled the streets, and citizens consigned luxury goods, consisting of untold number of paintings and other functions of art, come the consuming flames the bonfires.

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Florentine 15th or 16th Century, most likely after a design by Andrea del Verrocchio and Orsino Benintendi, Italian, 1440 - c. 1498, Lorenzo de" Medici, 1478/1521, painted terracotta, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1943.4.92


Giuliano Medici, the younger brother of Lorenzo, to be nursing a bad knee ~ above Easter job 1478 and also had come be helped to the cathedral—by the an extremely men that were plot to kill him and also his brother during mass. The assassins, members and also supporters that the Pazzi family, banking rivals the the Medici, awaited your signal. Together worshipers bowed their heads at the elevation of the host, Giuliano was brutally stabbed. Lorenzo escaped come the sacristy, staying there when the Pazzi partisans attempted come seize the government. They soon failed, however, and Lorenzo resumed control.The murder of Giuliano shocked Florence, and a variety of portraits to be ordered because that public screen to serve both together memorials and also as warnings to various other plotters. Botticelli"s painting may have actually been the prototype because that others, and lent symbolic heaviness to Guiliano’s passing, mirroring him as an icon, virtually a saint. The open window and mourning dove were familiar symbols the death, alluding to the trip of the soul and also the deceased"s passage to the afterlife. Part scholars, noting the lowered eyelids, suggest this portrait to be painted posthumously from a death mask.

Sandro Botticelli, Italian, 1446 - 1510, Giuliano de" Medici, c. 1478/1480, tempera ~ above panel, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1952.5.56


For many of the fifteenth century, the Epiphany was commemorated in Florence through a great festival. Expensively clad citizens reenacted the trip of the three majesties to Bethlehem through processions with the streets. Shortly prior to this job-related was painted, however, the intricate pageantry that the festival to be curtailed. Preachers prefer Savonarola complained that extreme luxury hidden the day"s religious significance.Botticelli"s paint seems come reflect this brand-new concern. He areas Jesus in ~ the facility of a an effective X developed by the opposing triangle of kneeling worshipers and the roof that the manger. The viewer, quite than being overwhelmed by wealthy detail, is instead conscious of the quiet distance between him and also the holy figures—and choose the worshipers in the paint leans towards the infant. This yearning to close the gap in between human existence and also the magnificent was a frequent Neoplatonic theme.Botticelli may have painted this when in Rome functioning on the Sistine Chapel. Rearing equines in the background, because that example, show up to reflect the colossal steeds of the Dioscuri. The classical architecture of the manger and the not correct ruins also have theological significance. Legend organized that earthquakes destroyed pagan holy places at the moment Christ to be born, and in a an ext general sense ruins imply that the old order of the regulation of Moses is supplanted through the brand-new era of grace made feasible by Christ"s birth.

Sandro Botticelli, Italian, 1446 - 1510, The Adoration the the Magi, c. 1478/1482, tempera and also oil top top panel, Andrew W. Mellon Collection, 1937.1.22


Subjects prefer this one, taken indigenous the writings of the ancient Roman author Livy, shown the learning and sophistication of Renaissance patrons and also were especially popular in residential settings. The size of this painting suggests that it was probably presented like a frieze with various other panels in the home of a well-off Florentine family.Here, the roman senate honors the hero Camillus v a triumphal parade with Rome. Camillus changed from exile to rescue Rome from besieging Gauls. When educated that the city was ready to capitulate through paying turn off the enemy, Camillus stirred his troops and fellow citizens with an effective rhetoric. "With iron," he said, "and not with gold, Rome buys she freedom." This soul of republican virtue appealed to fifteenth-century Florentines, who regarded ancient Rome together a paradigm because that their own city. The scene"s relevance was enhanced by its contemporary costumes and also other familiar details. The decorated parade floats recalled the lavish spectacle that processions in Florence. The battered and also blood-stained walls of the city enclose several structures that might be well-known in Rome, including the dome that the Pantheon and the north of Castel Sant"Angelo. The heraldic colors the drape the steeds probably belonged come the painting"s patron, as yet unidentified.

Biagio d"Antonio and also Workshop, Italian, c. 1446 - 1516, The Triumph that Camillus, c. 1470/1475, tempera top top panel, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1939.1.153


Small devotional images such as this were created in big numbers by craftsmen and also lesser-known artists because that the houses of Florence"s middle class. This artists frequently filled in at top workshops when extra aides were needed for important commissions. Us know, because that example, that Jacopo operated with Filippo Lippi, Ghirlandaio, and also Botticelli.This painting reflects the concerns of Florentine merchants and their proud in the city. Man the Baptist to be the patron saint of Florence, and we see him here before the city skyline. Clean in the distant landscape space the Palazzo Vecchio, center of the city administration; Brunelleschi"s vast cathedral dome; and also the campanile designed by Giotto. (It is just one of our faster painted see of Florence.) various other details keep a traditional, conservative religious outlook. The bowl at the saint"s foot recalls his baptism that Christ, when goldfinches, who red markings were thought to have actually been make by Christ"s crown the thorns, remind viewers of the Crucifixion. Many telling is the axe sunken right into the tree trunk in ~ the left edge of the painting, which refers to Luke 3:9: "every tree as such which bringeth no forth good fruit is hewn down." This to be a pointed warning versus the unorthodox ideas of several of the city"s patrician elite, echoing Savonarola"s sermons versus their dangerously paganlike tendencies.

Jacopo del Sellaio, Italian, 1441/1442 - 1493, Saint john the Baptist, c. 1480, oil top top panel, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1939.1.283

The workshop that a Renaissance artist was both studio and school, wherein apprentices were trained to repaint in the style of the master. Since large commissions compelled the initiatives of plenty of painters, backgrounds, still-life details, and secondary figures were often painted through assistants. A grasp might also give lesser commissions entirely over come his assistants, simply granting the occupational as meeting his standard. It is often complicated to identify the occupational of the master from that of talented assistants whose individual formats were not yet completely developed.This small devotional panel is painted in the format of Andrea del Verrocchio however is the job-related of among his students, Lorenzo di Credi, who inherited the workshop when Andrea died. For impetus Credi seems additionally to have actually looked come a other student—Leonardo da Vinci. This madonna is modeled after ~ one through Leonardo; in fact, the painting was as soon as thought come be very early work by Leonardo. Yet the colors differ from Leonardo’s subdued palette, and also the see lacks his fanciful mountains. Notice, too, the Virgin"s left hand, which holds a pomegranate, prize of the Resurrection. In Leonardo"s painting she holds a carnation. Credi failure to alter the place of her fingers, leaving her through an unnatural gesture unthinkable from such a crawl observer that nature as Leonardo.

Lorenzo di Credi, Italian, c. 1457/1459 - 1536, Madonna and also Child through a Pomegranate, 1475/1480, oil on panel, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1952.5.65

In a city filled with artists, the busiest workshop in the later 1400s was that of Domenico Ghirlandaio. His popularity rest on the conventional piety of his images, his direct and also forthright style, and his high standards of craftsmanship. These attributes probably appealed to the median Florentine, that was less attracted by the humanist erudition and advanced tastes the enthralled the city"s elite. Works choose this devout image contrast with the sensuality and luxury denounced through Savonarola.The yellow background is unusual—a small old-fashioned because that a paint done in the 1470s. It is no clear even if it is the current gilt surface (not original) replaced original gilding or was used over a now-obliterated landscape, such together seen somewhere else in this room. If the painting was gilded from the outset, this would have been stated in the contract in between artist and also patron. Till the mid-fifteenth century, the intrinsic value of materials—gold and also costly colors such together ultramarine, which is made from the semiprecious stone lapis lazuli—accounted for lot of a painting"s worth. By the moment this work was made, however, the focus had shifted. Patrons had involved value rather the ability of the painter, together we do today.

Domenico Ghirlandaio, Italian, 1449 - 1494, Madonna and also Child, c. 1470/1475, tempera on panel moved to hardboard, Samuel H. Kress collection 1961.9.49

Filippino was the son of the artist Fra Filippo Lippi. His father, however, passed away when the boy was only twelve, around the age when he would certainly have started his creative training. Filippino"s education was taken end by his father"s pupil, Botticelli, and also their association lasted numerous years.This painting is more than likely a really early work-related by Filippino—some, in fact, think it to be his faster one come survive. At this point in his career, Filippino to be still strongly under Botticelli"s influence. The lyrical and graceful line—the rippling cascades of drapery and also the fanlike loss of towel at the Virgin"s hem—show Filippino"s debt to his teacher, however the confident colors are the artist"s own. As his style matured, Filippino relocated away indigenous the linearity the Botticelli. The diaphanous shimmer of fabric and sad delicacy that his encounters give his works an elusive and poetic quality.The half-round form of this painting, referred to as a lunette, was supplied most frequently over doorways. Probably this one was inserted over the enntrance gate to a private chapel or sacristy, yet its original place remains unknown.

Filippino Lippi, Italian, 1457 - 1504, The Coronation of the Virgin, c. 1475, oil and tempera (?) top top panel, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1943.4.36

This painting is based on the publication of Tobit which speak the story of Tobit that Nenevah. Tobit is defined as a guy of good faith that suffers native blindness and poverty. He sent out his son, Tobias, to a remote city to collection money he had deposited there, and hired a companion to accompany the youth. The companion was in reality the archangel Raphael in disguise. Their journey was successful: not just was the money recovered, yet medicine made from a monstrous fish Tobias encounters follow me the way cures Tobit"s blindness.

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In Hebrew, Raphael"s name way "God has actually healed." In this painting, Raphael hold a golden mortar supplied for compounding medicinal ingredients. Back the archangel is usually shown with a mortar or medication box, his identity here is developed by the visibility of Tobias hold a fish. Raphael is called only in the book of Tobit.The story the Tobit may have actually been specifically popular in fifteenth-century Florence since of its very nice to merchant families, whose sons were regularly sent to trade in far-away cities. Paints of Tobias and also his angelic guardian were most likely commissioned together dedications to ensure a safe journey, or offer thanks for a safe return. The painting"s ide of reward for fair handle may have actually been equally welcome.

Filippino Lippi, Italian, 1457 - 1504, Tobias and the Angel, c. 1475/1480, oil and tempera (?) top top panel, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1939.1.229