The Road to Recognition: Strategy and Identity in the Careers of Sixteenth Century Venetian Painters
The fierce rivalry between painters in cinquecento Venice, fostered by a competition-driven patronage system, pushed many painters to the margins of the Venetian art market, while it prevented others from entering it. Being entrepreneurs, these painters had to make conscious choices about how to enhance their professional, social, financial, and cultural status, and therefore used a diverse range of strategies. As their (starting) positions were unsatisfactory, they had to be ambitious as well as creative. This thesis analyses how three painters active in Venice in the first half of the sixteenth century –Lotto, Pordenone, and Savoldo – used overlapping yet also distinctively different strategies to shape their art and their careers to respond to this challenge.
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