Elite Patronage and the Business of Spirituality: Commissioning Religious Art in Renaissance Florence

Stephanie Azzarello

Singing Monks. Zanobi Strozzi, Florence, 1409. Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Corale 3, fol. 41v.

Stephanie Azzarello’s current research project ‘Elite Patronage and the Business of Spirituality: Commissioning Religious Art in Renaissance Florence’ will investigate the dynamics between monastic artist (monks, nuns) and their elite patrons vis-à-vis the commissioning of religious art in late fourteenth and early fifteenth century Florence. Focusing on two prominent Florentine monasteries: Santa Maria degli Angeli and Santa Maria di Firenze, the project will probe the potential spiritual consequences of creating art for profit. It aims to examine how these religious artists were able (or not able) to strike a balance between keeping donors and customers satisfied whilst not compromising their liturgical and spiritual integrity. She will be working under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Alessandro Nova.


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