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Lesson Plans

Re: patrons

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Roseau (mikelr)
Sun, 25 Oct 1998 18:59:52 -0500

>On Sun, 25 Oct 1998, Roseau wrote:
>> 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?

Thanks for the thoughtful question - and interesting one it is, too!

I will have to get back to you because I am on deadline and need to satisfy
MY patron. He is about as flexible as the Inquisition. Amazing how
insistant people can be when they lay out the long green!


Mike Reed