Skip to content



DUE DATE: Monday, February 12, by 6:00 pm! Submit ON TIME in Canvas “Assignments.”  This task sheet consists of FOUR PARTS: Part I (Introduction), II, III, and IV.  If you submit this task sheet, you MUST complete Part I and ONE of the other parts.  Please review the TASK SHEET INFORMATION handout posted in MODULE: WEEK 1  ONLY submit Task Sheets that are completed and based on the readings and videos!

READINGS AND VIDEOS [see and access via MODULE: WEEK 3] Book: “Part One: Making Art” [focus on “Patronage,” pp. 17-21] Internet: Stein, Wendy A.: “Patronage of Jean de Berry (1340–1416)”: Internet: Encyclopedia Britannica: “Pope Julius II:” Video: Rick Stevens: The Medici and the Florentine Renaissance (2011):

KEY TERMS The Renaissance was a period in European history marking the transition from the Middle Ages to modernity and covering the 15th and 16th centuries. It was associated with great social change. The traditional view of the Renaissance focuses on the early modern aspects of the Renaissance, however, many historians today argue that it was an extension of the Middle Ages. Important Characteristics of the Renaissance are Humanism (a cultural movement which turned away from medieval scholasticism and revived interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought, art, and mythology, as well as promoted education in literature and science); linear or one-point perspective (the systematic approach to rendering 3-d perspective, the illusion of a measured, continuously receding space); anatomy (the nude body is an acceptable subject in art again; drawing from the nude).

Patronage: The encouragement, privilege, or financial support that an organization or individual bestows on another. In the history of art, patronage refers to the support that kings, queens, popes, and other wealthy and influential people provided to visual artists, architects, musicians, writers, etc.. While the focus today is typically on the artist who created an artwork, for many centuries artists did not create their art for art’s sake or for personal expression, but only when they received commissions in advance from a patron. Many of the most famous works of art and architecture of past centuries were commissioned and are thus intertwined with the ideas, interests, and politics of powerful and wealthy patrons [see also Book: “Patronage,” pp. 17-21].

PART I: INTRODUCTION TO PATRONAGE IN THE RENAISSANCE During the Renaissance patrons – the person or group of people commissioning and paying for an artwork – were the primary force behind an artwork’s creation. Information about patrons thus provides a crucial window into the complex process involved in the production of art and architecture. Patrons often dictated the cost, materials, size, location, and subject matter of works of art they commissioned and financed and thus exerted a crucial influence on the arts. Sometimes patrons even appeared within an artwork, such as flanking an altar piece. Patronage in the Renaissance was comprised of wealthy private patrons, religious patrons, royal patrons or governmental patrons. Leonardo da Vinci’s patrons reflect the range of patronage very well: [Note that this Task Sheet focuses on Renaissance patronage in Italy and France.]



YOUR TASK FOR PART I [MUST COMPLETE!] Please read: Book: “Part One: Making Art” [focus on “Patronage,” pp. 17-21]. Please explain the following four types of patronage in 2-3 sentences each:

• Private Patronage • Religious Patronage • Royal Patronage • State, City and Community Patronage

PART II: THE PATRONAGE OF THE HOUSE OF MEDICI The House of Medici was an Italian banking family, political dynasty, and later royal house that became prominent under Cosimo de’ Medici in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. Their wealth and influence initially derived from the textile trade. They dominated the Florentine city’s government and created an environment where art and humanism could flourish. The Medici family, along with other influential families of Italy, fostered, financed, and inspired the birth of the Italian Renaissance, commissioning many of the now famous artists and artworks. Lorenzo de Medici (b. 1449–d. 1492), was the third head of the Medici dynasty to use commercial wealth and international banking connections to lead Florence’s dominant political faction and undermine its republican constitution. He was also a catalyst for an enormous amount of arts patronage, encouraging his countrymen to commission works from the leading artists of Florence, including Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, and Michelangelo Buonarroti. […] [See also:]

Y OUR TASK S FOR PART I I Please view: Rick Stevens: The Medici and the Florentine Renaissance (2011): 1) Please summarize the most important points made in the video and add your reflections. 2) Please explain in c. 6-8 sentences why the Medici family was such an important influence on art and society in Renaissance Italy and became a catalyst for the flourishing of Renaissance Art.

PART III: THE PATRONAGE OF POPE JULIUS II Originally named Giuliano della Rovere, (born 1443, Albisola, Republic of Genoa—died 1513, Rome). He reigned from 1503–13. While Pope Julius II is said to have “lacked any interest in spiritual pursuits,” areas that marked his papacy were politics and warfare, as well as patronage of the arts. Pope Julius II commissioned some of the most famous artists and artworks of the Renaissance, such as the Sistine Chapel (1473–81), the papal chapel in the Vatican Palace, and the ceiling frescoes painted by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1508 1512), with whom he formed a close symbiosis and friendship.

YOUR TASKS FOR PART III Please read: Encyclopedia Britannica: “Pope Julius II”: Please view: Khan Academy video on Raphael’s School of Athens (1508–11): renaissance-art-europe-ap/v/raphael-school-of-athens Please answer the following question in a paragraph of at least 8-10 sentences: Pope Julius II commissioned Raphael’s fresco, School of Athens (1508–11), painted in the Stanza della Segnatura, the pope’s private chambers in the Vatican. 1) How, according to the reading and video, does this famous artwork reflect Pope Julius II’s world view and interests, and how is it connected to the Humanist spirit of the Renaissance?



PART IV: THE PATRONAGE OF DUKE JEAN DE BERRY The life and patronage of Jean de Berry (1340–1416) marks the transition from the late medieval to the early Renaissance period, and he is thus the earliest example of patronage discussed in this Module. Also known as John of Berry or John the Magnificent, he was Duke of Berry and Auvergne and Count of Potiers and Montpensier in France. He was Regent of France from 1380 to 1388 during the minority of his nephew, Charles VI. His brothers were King Charles V of France and Duke Louis I of Anjou and Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy. Jean de Berry was always active as a patron of art, beginning with architecture. He built or renovated seventeen châteaux and other residences, several of them with chapels. He was an important collector of art and precious objects and is especially known for his collection of illuminated manuscripts, in particular his personal book of hours, Très Riches Heures. It was created by Paul, Herman, and Jean Limbourg, brothers and artists from the Netherlands, who were active in France and Burgundy. Très Riches Heures is considered one of the most famous and possibly the best surviving example of manuscript illumination in the late phase of the International Gothic style. It is a book of hours, a collection of prayers to be said at the canonical hours. See below the illustrations for: January, The Duke of Berry at Table [left] and February, Life in the Country [right] from Très Riches Heures, 1411-16, colors and ink on parchment.

Y OUR TASK S FOR PART I V Please read: Stein, Wendy A.: “Patronage of Jean de Berry (1340–1416),” in: Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000– (May 2009):

Please answer the following questions focusing on the Duke of Berry’s collecting activity: 1) What type of art did the Duke de Berry favor in his collecting activity? 2) What part of his collection brought him the “greatest renown,” according to the article? 3) Explain the practice of “étrenne” and why it was a crucial custom for the Duke’s art collection. 4) Based on the assigned text, briefly explain using an example how in the Duke of Berry and his collecting activity religion and spirituality are mixed with a worldly pursuit of riches and power.


  • PART IV: THE Patronage of DUKE Jean de Berry