In Search of the Patron: Late Antique Styles in Context
The people who commissioned artworks and monumental decorations in late antiquity are for the most part unknown. Even when names are recorded, it is often difficult to tell to what extent the demands of the patron determined the visual characteristics of a given work. Since styles were tied to workshop traditions and contentions, it can be argued that in most instances, the patron had but limited influence on stylistic properties. Evidence actually suggests that the style of a work often came about independently of the one who commissioned or purchased it. The style was conditioned by function and context. The article, therefore, proposes a functional paradigm for evaluating visual expressions, defining three main domains of representation: public monuments, religious programmes, and artworks. In search of the late antique patron, the conclusion reached is that the patron had most impact in the religious domain.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).