The Infuencers

The Influencers

The Infuencers

1

Lorenzo de Medici also known as Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449 - 1492). Portrait by Angelo Bronzino (15th Century)

The banking family of the Medici is credited with their influence in the development of arts during the Renaissance. Their patronage started way before Lorenzo the Magnificent but it was during his lifetime that the most prominent Renaissance artists emerged. He employed artists such as Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo da Vinci, Andrea del Verrocio and Domenico Ghirlandaio in his court and introduced them to his circle of friends. He also used art to protect his political interests. He commissioned Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Pietro Perugino and Cosimo Rosselli to paint murals in the Sistine Chapel to seal his alliance with Pope Sixtus IV. 

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2

Pope Julius II (1443 - 1513). Portrait by Raphael (1511)

Pope Julius II was known as Giuliano della Rovere before he became pope. His papacy is remembered for his ambitious building projects and patronage of the arts. He commissioned the destruction and rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica. He was a friend and patron of the architect Donato Bramante and painters Raphael and Michelangelo. Most famously, Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Painted between 1508 and 1512, the Sistine Chapel ceiling is recognized as a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. 

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3

Isabella d’Este (1474 - 1539), portrait by Titian (1536)

Isabella d'Este was the Marchesa of Mantua and one of the leading figures of the Italian Renaissance. She played an important role in the political and cultural development of the city of Mantua. Isabella d'Este created her own studio in Castello di San Giorgio and commissioned paintings from Mantegna, Perugino and Lorenzo Costa. Other famous artists who worked for her include Giorgione, Bellini, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Titian. Aside from the arts, she was also a leader of fashion. Other women throughout Italy and France copied her innovative style. The Diplomat Niccolo da Corregio designated her as "The First Lady of the World".

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4

Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel (1586 – 1646), portrait by Peter Paul Rubens (1629 - 30)

Thomas Howard was an English courtier during the reigns of King James I and King Charles I but he is mostly known as an art collector rather than as a politician. He was a member of the Whitehall Group which was a small circle of art connoisseurs, collectors and patrons closely associated with Charles I. He commissioned portraits of himself and his family from Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Lievens, Daniel Mytens and Anthony van Dyck. He also collected paintings by Hans Holbein, Adam Elsheimer, Mytens, Rubens and Honthorst. At the time of his death, there were 700 paintings and a large collection of sculptures, books, prints, drawings and antique jewelry in his possession. 

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5

Pierre Crozat (1661–1740), portrait by Rosalba Carriera

Pierre Crozat
Pierre Crozat was a treasurer to the king of France and a prominent art collector. Crozat was the primary patron of Rococo artist Antoine Watteau. Crozat gradually acquired a collection of paintings, drawings and objects d'art. His collection of old master drawings was the most important in France at the beginning of the 18th century. He negotiated for the Regent Philippe II, Duke of Orleans on the purchase of the art collection of Queen Christina of Sweden. His collections were inherited by his nephews but they were dispersed after their deaths. The collection was bought by Catherine II of Russia in 1772 for the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. 

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6

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900), portrait by Thomas Richmond II (c.1841)

John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
John Ruskin was an art critic, an art patron, watercolourist and a draughtsman during the Victorian era. His book, Modern Painters, championed the works of J.M.W. Turner. The second volume of the book became influential to the Pre-Raphaelite painters. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood's commitment to naturalism and painting from nature only was an idea expressed by Ruskin in his writings. Ruskin supported artists such as John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Brett, Joh William Inchbold and Edward Burne-Jones. Ruskin was also a social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote about a wide range of subjects including geology, architecture, myth, ornithology, botany and political economics.

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7

Paul Durand-Ruel (1831 – 1922), portrait by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1910)

Paul Durand-Ruel
Paul Durand-Ruel was a French art dealer who promoted the works of the Impressionists. At a time when Impressionist paintings were shunned by the public, he eagerly bought works by Monet, Pissarro, Degas and Renoir. He first exhibited Impressionist paintings in his gallery in London in 1872. He also promoted the works of Impressionists in New York where their works where well-received. He supported the Impressionists in many ways. He was the first to offer the artists stipends and solo exhibitions. Monet once said, “We would have died of hunger without Durand-Ruel, all we impressionists. We owe him everything”.

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8

Theo van Gogh (1857 – 1891), portrait long thought to be of Vincent but is now believed to be that of his brother Theo by Vincent van Gogh (1887)

Theo van Gogh
Theo van Gogh was the first person to suggest his brother Vincent start painting. He worked as an art dealer at Goupil & Cie in The Hague. He gave financial support and painting materials to Vincent every month. Theo often encouraged Vincent and praised his efforts in his letters. Theo also introduced Vincent to Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Henri Rousseau, Pissarro, Seurat and Cezanne. Apart from Vincent, Theo also supported the works of the Impressionists by persuading his employers to exhibit their works. After Vincent's death, Theo's health deteriorated and he died just months after Vincent.

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9

Ambroise Vollard (1866 – 1939), portrait by Paul Cezanne (1899)

Ambroise Vollard
Ambroise Vollard was one of the leading art dealers in Paris during the late 19th and the early 20th century. Vollard exhibited works by Manet, Gauguin, van Gogh and Cezanne in his gallery. Vollard had an enormous collection of artworks. A photographer named Brassai once noted that his mansion had only two occupiable rooms - the dining room and the bedroom – with all the other rooms being filled with artworks. Vollard was the first to exhibit Picasso's paintings. He also wrote the biographies of Cezanne, Degas and Renoir. 

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10

Johanna van Gogh-Bonger (1862 – 1925), portrait by her second husband, Johan Cohen Gosschalk (1905)

Johanna van Gogh-Bonger
Johanna van Gogh-Bonger was the wife of Vincent van Gogh's brother, Theo. Jo played an important role in the popularity of Vincent's paintings. For 34 years, she relentlessly promoted the works of Vincent. She donated Vincent's paintings to various retrospective exhibitions. She even funded some of the exhibitions that sparked interest from international art dealers and collectors. She published Vincent's letters to Theo in 1914 under the title "Letters to His Brother". Her son Vincent Willem founded the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 1971. At the time of her death, she was still translating Vincent's letters to English.

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