Patronage, Power, and Agency in Medieval Art
Edited by Colum Hourihane
Publication date:30 August 2013
Length of book:368 pages
Publisherthe Index of Christian Art, Princeton University
Although the concept of patronage has long been central to medieval studies, it is still not well understood. In order to identify the person or institution responsible for the work, scholars have attempted to impose principles across a broad range of works to which they may or may not apply. In many cases this has prevented a full understanding of the work. As the essays in this volume demonstrate, the key to understanding patronage is to realize that a variety of contexts and situations may exist that prevent one definition from being imposed. The concept of patronage relates to issues such as gender, social and economic history, as well as the world of politics, and the many possible roles of the patron can range from paying for the work to designing it to using it. But we do not know what input the artist had, or how influential he or she may have been. The essays in this volume, from those that look at patronage from a theoretical perspective to individual case studies, highlight our need to look at the subject anew.
The contributors are Adelaide Bennett, Sheila Bonde, Jill Caskey, Robin Cormack, Anne Derbes, Aden Kumler, Claudine Lautier, Julian Luxford, Clark Maines, Nigel Morgan, Elizabeth Carson Pastan, Stephen Perkinson, Lucy Freeman Sandler, Corine Schleif, and Benjamin Zweig.
—Holly Flora, Renaissance Quarterly