> Besides, why shouldn't an artist sniff around for clients? - everyone else
> does. Is an artist above all that? Is he owed a living? I think not.
Interesting that this point should be raised now, as my art history
students and I had a lengthy discussion of the patron/artist relationship
last Friday. We were reading about Veronese and the Inquisition. The
Inquisitors objected to some of his secular portions of the Last Supper,
which they, though not Veronese, felt to be disrespectful.
So the students and I discussed under what circumstances a patron might
have the right to dictate specifics to an artist, and how does one decide
whether something is appropriate or not. One of the contemporary people
in Veronese's picture is picking his teeth. When I asked the students if
the patron would have the right to require Veronese to change that as
disrespectful, most of the students vigorously defended an artist's right
to decide on interpretation. But when I asked if their opinion would
change if Veronese had depicted Jesus as the figure picking his teeth,
most of them (as you are probably not surprised to read) said that would
be disrespectful and objectionable. So we got into a heated debate over
who gets to decide what is objectionable and under what circumstances.
There was no overall consensus at the end, except for the suggestion that
all artists and patrons should have a good lawyer writing the commission
contract if he/she may have strong opinions on what is to be depicted!
Any comments I should pass on to my students from the list?