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Wednesday May 26, 2010

Modern Art Redux

For the Band

Although we categorize modern art as beginning after World War II, our view of the modern artist began in 16th century Italy—where the role of the artist changed dramatically—from a nameless artisan for hire to an artist whose signature and individual expression became a source of collectibility.

From An Artist Empowered:

Historically, art hasn’t been perceived as an act of independence or self-expression, either. The archetype for the ‘modern’ artist who is appreciated for his unique vision started to take shape about 500 years ago during the Renaissance (rebirth) in Italy, and most conspicuously under the patronage of the Medici: the ruling family of Florence.

Prior to this unique flowering of art and connoisseurship, artists didn’t create a ‘personal’ art that was for sale in galleries or auctioned off for large sums to avid collectors. Artists were cataloged as workers; and their art, rather than an artifact devoted solely to pure contemplation, served some utilitarian purpose.