Artists and their Patrons
DOI link for Artists and their Patrons
Artists and their Patrons book
Most of the artists working in Britain are anonymous; at least they remain anonymous to us. It is important to remember that behind the creation of every work of art lay a transaction between the creator and the customer. That was as true of the enamelled fairing bought at a country market as it was of the architectural complex or a suite of mosaic floors for which the rich patron must have signed an elaborate and legally-binding contract. In the former case it was simply a matter of purchase; in the latter, however, precise instructions would have been given by the patron as to subject matter, size and materials, limited only by the availability of skill and stone, while the artist for his part needed to secure his fee. Where the contract was expensive or complicated, the artist was anything but an unknown background figure. This chapter will emphasize the fact that whatever else art history encompasses, it is above all concerned with human relationships. This is what archaeologists and historians mean, or should mean, when they describe their professions as bringing empathy with the people of antiquity.