Painters’ paintings and sculptors’ sculptures do not exist in a vacuum; someone paid the artist to produce them, and usually that someone had the initial desire for the work of art to be produced. Equally as fascinating as the history of art produced is the related story of who wanted to pay for these works, to bring them into existence, the story of who pressurised whom to produce what.
It is, however, a more difficult story to tell, as it is relatively rare that anything survives of the discussions that took place between artist and patron as a piece of art took form,
Even more difficult is the subject of female patronage, a more rare phenomenon. Yet occasionally the clouds part, and we are able to see the choices and activities of a number of powerful women as they chose, assembled, treasured and gloated over their collections and art. This lecture will explore the patronage of characters such as Isabella d’Este 1474-1539, Queen Henrietta Maria of England 1609-1669 and Mme de Pompadour 1721-1764, female patrons of wealth, power and a clear sense of what they wanted. We are very lucky to welcome back Chantal Brotherton-Ratcliffe to lead this lecture.Please arrive at 10:30 for a 10:45 am start, we aim to finish by 12:00 noon.