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The Culture of Power and the Power of CultureOld Regime Europe 1660–1789$
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T. C. W. Blanning

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198227458

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198227458.001.0001

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The Status of the Artist

The Status of the Artist

(p.78) 3 The Status of the Artist
The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture


Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the pole position enjoyed by creative artists, such as painters, architects, musicians, and actors and actresses, during a time, around the 17th century, when culture placed a high value on visual representation. The development of individualism in the Italian Renaissance and the sharp competition among patrons lifted painters and architects out of the anonymity and handicrafts status of the guild tradition. This chapter also examines the salaries and lifestyles of these artists, particularly of the musicians Haydn, Mozart, Frederick, and Lully. The ideal situation during this period — and indeed any other period — was for a patron to combine munificence with respect and for the artist to feel comfortable with the demands placed on him. Lastly, this chapter notes that during this period, the courtly absolutist culture which had reached its apogee with Louis XIV’s Versailles seemed to have run out of steam.

Keywords:   artists, painters, architects, musicians, actors and actresses, Italian Renaissance, guild tradition

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