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OverviewIn the so late fifteenth century, Florence had an ext woodcarvers than butchers, suggesting that art, even an ext than meat, to be a requirement of life. This to be true not only for the wealthy, but also for those of an ext modest means. In 1472, the city boasted 54 workshops because that marble and stone; it employed 44 master gold- and also silversmiths, and also at least thirty understand painters. Florence"s place in the wool and silk industries relied ~ above its reputation for quality—a tradition of craftsmanship the made discerning patrons of its merchants and also financiers.Most commissions to be for spiritual works. Countless banking families, for example, viewed the funding of altarpieces and chapels together a type of penance for usury (moneylending in ~ interest), which was condemned through the church yet inherent to their profession. Together the 1400s progressed, however, patrons came to be increasingly interested in an individual fame and also worldly prestige. Lavish, even ostentatious, public display screen became much more common, also as the fortunes that the city declined. Brand-new subjects native mythology uncovered eager audience impressed by such evidence of learning. And, by the end of the century—for the first time since antiquity—some arts was gift made simply "for art"s sake."Among the greatest patrons in 15th-century Florence to be members of the powerful Medici family, that ruled together princes, though the city was, in name, a republic. The works in this tour day from the time of Lorenzo de" Medici, the Magnificent, who Machiavelli dubbed "the biggest patron that literature and art that any kind of prince has ever before been." back Lorenzo himself i was delegated relatively few major works, the was critical arbiter that taste. An avid collector that Greek and also Roman antiquities, he aided imprint the Florentine Renaissance with the humanism that the ancient world.One the the artists employed by the Medici was Botticelli, a member the Lorenzo"s one of poets and also scholars. Botticelli"s lyrical paints matched the cerebral refinement the Florence"s humanists, specifically the Neoplatonic philosophers, who saw beauty together a method to approach an expertise of the divine. Botticelli"s ethereal figures, characterized by line rather than modeled with light and shadow, seem come float, their drapery billowing in graceful patterns. His subjects, both mythological and also religious, are imbued v lyricism and mystery.Despite their happiness in pagan themes, most Florentine humanists continued to be deeply pious. In the 1480s and also 1490s, the Dominican friar Savonarola provided impassioned sermons attack luxury and also the amorality of ancient gods. He attracted plenty of followers, including, the seems, Botticelli, that abandoned superordinary subjects. After ~ Lorenzo the Magnificent passed away in 1492, economic and also political tragedies put Florence in the hands of Savonarola"s radical spiritual reformers. Vigilantes patrolled the streets, and citizens consigned high-end goods, including untold number of paintings and also other works of art, come the spend flames the bonfires.

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Florentine 15th or 16th Century, probably after a model 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, was nursing a negative knee on Easter day 1478 and also had to be aided to the cathedral—by the very men that were plotting to kill him and also his brother throughout mass. The assassins, members and supporters of the Pazzi family, bank rivals the the Medici, awaited your signal. Together worshipers bowed their heads in ~ the key of the host, Giuliano was brutally stabbed. Lorenzo escaped come the sacristy, staying there when the Pazzi partisans attempted to seize the government. They soon failed, however, and also Lorenzo resumed control.The killing of Giuliano shocked Florence, and also a variety of portraits to be ordered because that public screen to offer both as memorials and also as warnings to various other plotters. Botticelli"s painting may have actually been the prototype for others, and also lent symbolic heaviness to Guiliano’s passing, reflecting him together an icon, practically a saint. The open home window and mourning dove were acquainted symbols that death, alluding to the flight of the soul and the deceased"s i to the afterlife. Part scholars, note the lowered eyelids, indicate this portrait to be painted posthumously indigenous a fatality mask.

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


For most of the fifteenth century, the Epiphany was celebrated in Florence through a great festival. Expensively clad citizens reenacted the journey of the three queens to Bethlehem with processions v the streets. Shortly before this job-related was painted, however, the fancy pageantry of the festival to be curtailed. Preachers choose Savonarola complained that extreme luxury hidden the day"s spiritual significance.Botticelli"s paint seems to reflect this brand-new concern. He places Jesus at the center of a powerful X created by the opposing triangles of kneeling worshipers and the roof that the manger. The viewer, quite than gift overwhelmed by wealthy detail, is instead mindful of the quiet distance between him and also the holy figures—and favor the worshipers in the paint leans towards the infant. This yearning to close the gap in between human existence and the magnificent was a regular Neoplatonic theme.Botticelli may have actually painted this if in Rome functioning on the Sistine Chapel. Rearing steeds in the background, for example, show up to reflect the colossal horses of the Dioscuri. The classical design of the manger and the wrong ruins likewise have theological significance. Legend held that earthquakes destroyed pagan holy places at the moment Christ to be born, and also in a much more general sense ruins imply that the old bespeak of the law of Moses is supplanted by the new era of elegant made feasible by Christ"s birth.

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


Subjects like this one, taken native the works of the ancient Roman author Livy, shown the learning and also sophistication the Renaissance patrons and also were especially popular in residential settings. The dimension of this painting suggests that it was probably shown like a frieze with other panels in the house of a affluent Florentine family.Here, the roman inn senate honors the hero Camillus v a triumphal parade v Rome. Camillus returned from exile to rescue Rome from besieging Gauls. When notified that the city was all set to capitulate by paying turn off the enemy, Camillus stirred his troops and fellow citizens with an effective rhetoric. "With iron," he said, "and not v gold, Rome buys her freedom." This soul of republican virtue appealed come fifteenth-century Florentines, that regarded ancient Rome as a paradigm because that their own city. The scene"s relationship was enhanced by its modern-day costumes and also other acquainted details. The decorated parade floats recalled the lavish spectacle of processions in Florence. The battered and blood-stained wall surfaces of the city enclose several buildings that can be recognized in Rome, consisting of the dome the the Pantheon and also the north of Castel Sant"Angelo. The heraldic colors that drape the horses probably belonged to the painting"s patron, as yet unidentified.

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


Small devotional pictures such together this were created in large numbers by craftsmen and also lesser-known artists because that the dwellings of Florence"s center class. These artists frequently filled in at leading workshops as soon as extra assistants were needed for essential commissions. We know, because that example, the Jacopo worked with Filippo Lippi, Ghirlandaio, and Botticelli.This paint reflects the involves of Florentine merchants and also their pride in the city. John the Baptist was the patron saint the Florence, and also we watch him here prior to the city skyline. Clear in the distant landscape are the Palazzo Vecchio, facility of the city administration; Brunelleschi"s large cathedral dome; and also the campanile designed by Giotto. (It is among our faster painted views of Florence.) other details preserve a traditional, conservative religious outlook. The bowl at the saint"s foot recalls his baptism of Christ, if goldfinches, who red markings were believed to have been made by Christ"s crown of thorns, remind viewers that the Crucifixion. Many telling is the axe sunken right into the tree trunk at the left edge of the painting, which describes Luke 3:9: "every tree therefore which bringeth not forth an excellent fruit is hewn down." This was a sharp warning against the unorthodox ideas of some of the city"s patrician elite, echoing Savonarola"s sermons versus their dangerously paganlike tendencies.

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

The workshop of a Renaissance artist to be both studio and also school, where apprentices were trained to repaint in the layout of the master. Since huge commissions compelled the efforts of numerous painters, backgrounds, still-life details, and second figures were frequently painted by assistants. A understand might also give lesser commissions totally over to his assistants, simply granting the work-related as meeting his standard. It is often an overwhelming to distinguish the work-related of the understand from the of talented assistants whose individual formats were no yet completely developed.This small devotional panel is painted in the layout of Andrea del Verrocchio however is the job-related of one of his students, Lorenzo di Credi, that inherited the workshop when Andrea died. For incentive Credi seems also to have looked to a fellow student—Leonardo da Vinci. This madonna is modeled after ~ one by Leonardo; in fact, the paint was once thought come be an early work by Leonardo. But the colors different from Leonardo’s subdued palette, and also the landscape lacks his cool mountains. Notice, too, the Virgin"s left hand, i beg your pardon holds a pomegranate, prize of the Resurrection. In Leonardo"s painting she holds a carnation. Credi failed to change the place of she fingers, leaving her with an unnatural gesture unthinkable from together a crawl observer of nature as Leonardo.

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

In a city filled v artists, the busiest workshop in the later on 1400s was the of Domenico Ghirlandaio. His popularity rested on the typical piety of his images, his direct and also forthright style, and also his high requirements of craftsmanship. These qualities probably appealed to the typical Florentine, that was much less attracted by the humanist erudition and advanced tastes the enthralled the city"s elite. Works prefer this devout image comparison with the sensuality and also luxury denounced through Savonarola.The yellow background is unusual—a little old-fashioned because that a paint done in the 1470s. It is not clear even if it is the existing gilt surface (not original) replaced initial gilding or was applied over a now-obliterated landscape, such as seen elsewhere in this room. If the painting was gilded from the outset, this would have been mentioned in the contract between artist and patron. Until the mid-fifteenth century, the intrinsic value of materials—gold and also costly pigments such as ultramarine, which is make from the semiprecious stone lapis lazuli—accounted for lot of a painting"s worth. By the time this occupational was made, however, the focus had shifted. Patrons had pertained to value rather the ability of the painter, as we carry out today.

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

Filippino was the child of the artist Fra Filippo Lippi. His father, however, passed away when the boy was only twelve, around the age when he would have begun his imaginative training. Filippino"s education and learning was taken end by his father"s pupil, Botticelli, and also their combination lasted numerous years.This painting is most likely a really early occupational by Filippino—some, in fact, think it to be his more quickly one to survive. In ~ this point in his career, Filippino to be still strong under Botticelli"s influence. The lyrical and also graceful line—the rippling cascades that drapery and the fanlike loss of fabric at the Virgin"s hem—show Filippino"s blame to his teacher, however the i was sure colors space the artist"s own. Together his style matured, Filippino relocated away from the linearity of Botticelli. The diaphanous shimmer that fabric and also sad delicacy that his deals with give his functions an elusive and also poetic quality.The half-round shape of this painting, dubbed a lunette, was used most often over doorways. Most likely this one was inserted over the enntrance gate to a private chapel or sacristy, however its original place remains unknown.

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

This paint is based upon the publication of Tobit which speak the story of Tobit of Nenevah. Tobit is explained as a man of good faith who suffers indigenous blindness and also poverty. He sent out his son, Tobias, come a distant city to collect money he had actually deposited there, and hired a companion to companion the youth. The companion was actually the archangel Raphael in disguise. Their journey was successful: not only was the money recovered, but medicine make from a monstrous fish Tobias encounters follow me the method cures Tobit"s blindness.

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In Hebrew, Raphael"s name means "God has actually healed." In this painting, Raphael stop a golden mortar used for compounding medicine ingredients. Back the archangel is usually displayed with a mortar or medicine box, his identity right here is created by the visibility of Tobias stop a fish. Raphael is called only in the book of Tobit.The story the Tobit may have actually been an especially popular in fifteenth-century Florence since of its very nice one to vendor families, who sons were often sent to profession in far-away cities. Paintings of Tobias and also his angelic guardian were likely commissioned together dedications to ensure a for sure journey, or market thanks for a for sure return. The painting"s tip of reward for fair handle may have been same welcome.

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