Doge Pietro Loredano. Jacopo Tintoretto. By permission of The National Gallery, Melbourne.

The desire of noble families--and later even the merchant class--to have their homes decorated by art led to a new range of subject matter.

While the Church continued to support the traditions of religious art, the new patrons asked for portraits of themselves and their families; and they wanted illustrations of the kinds of stories they were reading. The result was a renewed emphasis on characterization, a humanist concern with the individual rather than the ideal, and an interest in mythological and naturalistic subjects.

Pietro Loredano, Doge of Venice, was one of many such patrons* of the arts. When his residence was damaged by fire, he engaged Tintoretto* and others to redecorate it; this portrait is one product of that patronage.

One of the most notorious was the astute politician Lorenzo de Medici, who was the patron for Botticelli, Michaelangelo, and others. With the Borgias, he was a model for the politician described in Machiavelli's The Prince.

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This protrait by Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-94) is one of his more subdued works. He is most noted for his dramatic and emotional paintings, some of them on a huge scale.

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Footnotes

  1. A model patron

    One of the most notorious was the astute politician Lorenzo de Medici, who was the patron for Botticelli, Michaelangelo, and others. With the Borgias, he was a model for the politician described in Machiavelli's The Prince.

  2. The painting

    This protrait by Jacopo Tintoretto (1518-94) is one of his more subdued works. He is most noted for his dramatic and emotional paintings, some of them on a huge scale.