Artists, Avarice and Ambition in Europe, 1300 -1600
Co-convenors: Jill Harrison, Open University
Vicky Ley, Open University
In Trecento Italy Giotto di Bondone was working on major commissions in Florence whilst buying property and conducting complex business transactions in the rural Mugello. Michelangelo, as recently published documents show, also accumulated wealth from a variety of sources in addition to his art. In sixteenth century Northern Europe Dürer exemplified the spirit of commercial enterprise by employing agents to sell his engravings and find new markets for his works all over the Netherlands. Less commonly women artists made economic contributions to family workshops. The commercial astuteness of the engraver and printmaker Diana Scultori, who held a Papal Privilege allowing her to sign and market her work, is a notable example. Artists were ambitious and money mattered. The economic interaction between artists, patrons, institutions and ideologies in Europe 1300 -1600 is the focus of ongoing critical study, including recent exhibitions exploring the influence of bankers, merchants and international trade on art and artists. This session encourages a multidisciplinary approach to debate the idea of the artist as businessman or woman. It will consider the ways in which artists were developing and exploiting networks of wealthy patrons and producing works which engaged with changing and often controversial economic discourse.
Papers will be welcomed which explore any of these issues. There is also the chance the proceedingss will be published.
Abstracts should be no longer than 250 words, and should be sent to the session organizers along with a short CV (max 2 pages) and a biographical note and sent by November 10th 2014.