Written by Kenn Kotara
Artists are not usually recognized as entrepreneurs or as being business-minded, but most want to sell their work and earn a living from the purchase of their creations. Artists have successfully done this since the 14th century, utilizing a high level of business acumen to pursue and produce large public and private projects.
History of Corporate Art Collecting
During the Renaissance period, artists were employed by the patrons of the time—monarchies, churches, and governments, followed by the emergence of prominent wealthy families—to create many of the well-known artworks we now know in the Western world. Patronage during this time was a means to garner social status and political power, and the Medici family is synonymous as the major patron and influencer of the arts during the Italian Renaissance. The family supported artists such as Botticelli, da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael by providing room, board, materials, and networking. It was during this time that the first business or corporation known to collect art arose, the Monte dei Paschi Bank.
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