OF A SOCIAL RELATIONSHIP ? IS THIS TRUE OF ALL WORKS OF ART Essay, Research Paper PATRONAGE ? 15th century artists commissioned by the elites to paint chapels etc (e.g. St. Peter?s chapel) ?



15th century artists

commissioned by the elites to paint chapels etc (e.g. St. Peter?s chapel) ?

usually given specific subject, although given free reign occasionally.? Some paid per figure on the canvas. ?

Implication: art influenced by

patron?s desire, needs, wealth, status as well as the artist?s talents and

creativity ?

Thus ? see the art work as a deposit

of the social relationship between artist and patron. GOVERNMENT


This form of patronage not necessarily

financially based relationship.? In

Russia, Germany, lesser extent Italy, during WW2 artists heavily commissioned,

but independent artists whose work digressed from regime needs / desires /

ideology were imprisoned, exiled or killed ?

More explicit way of patronage ? Nazis

created a dual exhibition of art work ? one full of degenerate art ? associated

with Jews, homosexuals etc. Images of Jews and infiltrated by real pictures of

deformity ? other gallery ? imperial, Nazi ideal art.? Blatant yet extremely powerful for the public and especially the

artists. ?

In Italy an art competition was won by

the inspiringly titled ?Listening to a speech by Il Duce on the Radio? (not

included on handout) ?

Cultural revolutions ? way of

cleansing enemies at home ? again highlights power of art ?

Example: sculptor George Kolbe ? 1930

picture: mobility, dynamism to balance to pose and stability ? reflecting Nazi

preoccupation pure human form.? Intended

as a juxtaposition against degenerate art ? art of Jews, the weak.? The art hated by the working class and

conservative bourgeoisie. ?

Above sculptures do not reflect a

social relationship; rather change in style reflects the social relationship

between artist and patron (government).?

The relationship is one of subservience and rule over creativity. ?

Nazis use degenerate art to channel

aggression from troubles of real situation (great depression, economic

dislocation) toward individuals and groups perceived as agents of political and

social evils ? enemy not art itself but human being that it seemed to

embody.? Aesthetic backing to

unequivocally value based judgments. ?

We see art as influencing social

relationships ? more explicit form is Stalin?s portraits.? Both portraits show Stalin with Lenin in the

background.? Early on in career Stalin

trying to be seen as the inheritor of Lenin?s legacy. ?

Socialist realism ? continual

bombardment of images of workers, normal people ? clearly ideological and based

on desired social relationships ? deposits and reflection of social

relationships. AUTONOMOUS ART ?


Rousseau: ?The sciences, letters and

arts ? wind garlands of flowers around the iron chains that bind (the people)

and stifle in them the feeling of that original liberty for which they seemed

to have been born – makes them love their slavery and turn them into what are

called civilized people? ?

Rousseau ? art under despotism

reflected and reinforced immoral power of the state ?

Implies need for autonomous art ? link

to Willi Baumeister ?art has progressed along the path from dependence to

independence, from the commission which is given to personal

responsibility.? The free autonomous

artist receives his commission from himself? ?

So, does autonomous art show a social

relationship?? Not a traditional concept

of patronage, what about the market, and can it be said that a painting without

enforced patronage highlights a lack of Nazi or Soviet type social

relationship? CONCLUSIONS ?

Patronage: enforced, financial,

government based ? social relationship pressurizing artist into his works ?

does not lessen value of the art, but must be seen from different perspective ?

Reinforcement of power of the image ?

Autonomous art free of a deposit of a

social relationship ? but is this possible?