Patronage to Product: A Critical Analysis of the Development of the Western Art Market between the Renaissance and Contemporary Periods

Bradshaw, Angharad (2021) Patronage to Product: A Critical Analysis of the Development of the Western Art Market between the Renaissance and Contemporary Periods. MRes thesis, University of Lincoln.

Documents
Patronage to Product: A Critical Analysis of the Development of the Western Art Market between the Renaissance and Contemporary Periods
Thesis
[img]
[Download]
[img]
Preview
PDF
Bradshaw Angharad - Thesis July 2021.pdf - Whole Document

8MB
Item Type:Thesis (MRes)
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

The art market is far larger than just the exchange of artwork for money, it is a sociological and political arena populated with artists, gallerists, brokers, businessmen, politicians and the occasional art enthusiast. Throughout history, artists have had the opportunity to gain a better standing in society, networking opportunities, housing, better education, and, importantly, legal and political protection. Patrons and buyers, meanwhile, have gained tax exemptions, prestige, political and religious gains, and potentially even a legacy. However, as society and economic structures have evolved the roles of art, artists, and the art buyer have evolved alongside. This thesis analyses the development of the art market and how it has affected the parties involved through three periods of widespread economic, sociological and artistic innovation. This thesis covers Renaissance Florence; the Reformation and the French and Industrial Revolutions (which I have termed the Revolutionary Period in this thesis) and the western Contemporary (approximately 1960-2019).

Instead of searching for specific events or singular causes for the developments in the market, this thesis employs a methodology inspired by the works of sociologist Max Weber and art historian T. J. Clark. Weber’s seminal text The Protestant Ethic and The Spirit of Capitalism (first published in full in 1905) lays out Weber’s theories on the economy and society and explains how there is not a single cause for an event. Weber instead proposed that for any outcome there are multiple causes, known as multicausalism. Clark states in The Conditions of Artistic Creation that an artwork is the product of multiple conditions, including economic, social, and ideological ones (Clark, 1974, 561-562) This idea of multicausal explanations, or ‘the conjunction of conditions’, is key in this thesis as each event is the result of actions taken by multiple individuals and each major event had many interrelated causes.

This thesis asserts that the relationship between artist and buyer has become increasingly ‘estranged’ throughout history, as demonstrated through the three discussed time periods. It is possible to view this process as, in some ways, beneficial to the artist, but the main thrust of my argument shows that these forces have propelled the buyer into an increasingly dominant position. One driver of the estrangement between artist and buyer has been the development and then increasing power of the secondary art market, the resale of art by living artists being a particular focus of mine. I argue that this living resale market places too much power in the hands of the buyer and that whilst legislature such as the EU Artist Resale Right initiative is a step in the right direction, this thesis will make the case for further economic protections for artists in the market and proposes the term “living secondary market” to describe the practice of the secondary sale of art by living artists.

Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Fine Arts)
ID Code:45911
Deposited On:30 Jul 2021 14:41

Repository Staff Only: item control page