Bankers and Artists

Patronage links economics and art, while disposable cash is the crucial prerequisite, but not enough to explain an artistic commission. Another crucial prerequisite is the easing of the moral brakes that impede the display of non-profit-bearing wealth and expenditures. Refined and precious objects and paintings were imported from far away.
Those coming from Flanders bear witness to the importance attained by families such as the Portinari, Baroncelli, or Tani, who managed banks in Bruges. These merchant-bankers surrounded themselves with wealth, but also with the Beauty that was associated with culture. This is evident in the works that point to their expertise in music, their knowledge of the classical world, of literature and philosophy, in a perfect union of opulence, knowledge, and harmony.

The same atmosphere pervades the paintings of Botticelli, a sensitive representative of the Florentine Renaissance in an artistic journey that, from the works of his youth, passes through the idealised grace of the Neoplatonic writers of the famous mythological fables for the Medici. A world in which Money and Beauty are at each other’s service.