Academic Session 4: UEA 2015

41st Annual Conference & Bookfair
Sainsbury Institute for Art, UEA, Norwich
9 – 11 April 2015

Artists, Avarice and Ambition in Europe, 1300-1600

Session Convenors:

Jill Harrison and Vicky Ley, Open University, Milton Keynes, and

In Trecento Italy Giotto di Bondone was working on major commissions in Florence whilst buying property and conducting complex business transactions in the rural Mugello. Michelangelo, as recently published documents show, also accumulated wealth from a variety of sources in addition to his art. In sixteenth-century Northern Europe Dürer exemplified the spirit of commercial enterprise by employing agents to sell his engravings and find new markets for his works all over the Netherlands. Less commonly, women artists made economic contributions to family workshops. The commercial astuteness of the engraver and printmaker Diana Scultori, who held a Papal Privilege allowing her to sign and market her work, is a notable example. Artists were ambitious and money mattered. The economic interaction between artists, patrons, institutions and ideologies in Europe 1300–1600 is the focus of ongoing critical study, including recent exhibitions exploring the influence of bankers, merchants and international trade on art and artists. The speakers in this session adopt a multidisciplinary approach to critically assess the idea of the artist as businessman or woman. They consider the ways in which painters and sculptors were developing and exploiting networks of wealthy and prestigious lay and clerical patrons and producing works that engaged with changing and often controversial economic discourse.

Jill Harrison (Open University) Giotto’s Family Enterprise: Money-making in the Mugello

Joanne Anderson (Birkbeck College, University of London) Following Enrico Scrovegni: Earthly wealth for heavenly gain in 14th-century Bolzano

Andy Murray (University College London) Creative Agency and Managerial Hierarchy on the Charterhouse of Champmol

Irene Mariani (University of Edinburgh) Sandro Botticelli: A successful businessman?

Lydia Goodson (University of Sussex) ‘El maestro el megliore’; Being ‘the Best’ in the Art Market in Perugia in 1505

Ben Hutchinson
(University of York) Antwerp Mannerist Images of the Adoration of the Magi as Brand, Idea and Cultural Dominant

Giorgio Tagliaferro (University of Warwick) Titian and Artistic Entrepreneurship in 16th-century Venice: New modes, old practices?

Round Table Discussion The Business of Art – the European dimension 1300–1600