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The Dynamics of Artistic Patronage in Perugia and the surrounding towns 1488-1540

Citation: Goodson, Lydia (2020) The Dynamics of Artistic Patronage in Perugia and the surrounding towns 1488-1540. Doctoral thesis, School of Advanced Study.

Lydia Goodson Thesis Volumes 1 and 2.pdf

Creative Commons: Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Perugia and the surrounding towns witnessed an abundance of artistic patronage at the end of the fifteenth and the start of the sixteenth centuries. Little attention has hitherto been given to the way that patronage functioned in these urban centres of the Papal States. Instead intensive scholastic attention has been centred on individual painting commissions in the Italian city states and princely courts in the Renaissance. This thesis investigates the mechanics of artistic patronage in Perugia and the surrounding towns between 1488 and 1540. Through analysis of extant paintings and documentary evidence the thesis considers a number of issues of production rarely examined elsewhere and that are key to the commissioning process. The role of the notary responsible for the legal transaction of an artistic commission is explored, together with his relationship with both patron and painter. Examination of documentary records shows that patrons were closely involved with the selection of carpenters who made timber panels and frames for altarpieces and with the detail of fetching and fixing of the paintings they commissioned. An analysis of extant paintings for which commissioning details survive demonstrates that issues of style and delivery timescales were more important than economic factors in patronal choice of painter. Painting style is also considered in a re-evaluation of the traditional notion of the conservative Umbrian patron that posits the idea that the visual culture of the region was saturated by Perugino’s style and that Perugino’s figural designs are shown to have been in wide circulation amongst painters outside of his workshop who used them to achieve the ‘Perugino look’. The operation of corporate patronage is examined through the commissions and the institutional records of the confraternities of Perugia. The thesis brings to light information from a little-studied area that gives new insight into our understanding of the conduct of artistic patronage in the Renaissance.

Creators: Goodson, Lydia and
Subjects: History
Keywords: Renaissance, Art History, Perugia, Painting, Umbria, Workshop, Italy, Patronage, Patrons, Commisions, Perugino, Raphael, woodworker, carpenter, painter, confraternity, notary
Divisions: Warburg Institute
Collections: Theses and Dissertations
  • September 2020 (completed)


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