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Italian Renaissance Learning Resources

In collaboration with the National Gallery of Art

Artists and Patrons

Discussion Questions

These questions can be considered in relation to courtly patronage or to patronage in merchant cities, or they can be used to prompt consideration of differences between the two.

1) When was the patron the primary “audience” of a commission? When was the patron not the primary “audience”? How did this influence decisions regarding the commission and the final work produced?

2) How did patronage and the commissioning of art lend social prestige to different groups? In what various ways did it do so?

3) How did patronage differ from city to city? How did it not differ?

4) What factors motivated differences in commissions by type (for example, architecture, sculpture, painting), scale, or location?

5) How did the growing prestige of the artist in the Renaissance alter the nature of patronage?

6) What contributions were made by the different parties involved: patrons, literary advisors, and artists?