Date of Graduation

Fall 2021


Master of Arts in History



Committee Chair

Jessica Elliott


In historical discourse, one of the main discussions that can be found is in relation to determining who holds power in social and political environments. The world of art in Renaissance Italy is a place where such power dynamics were of great importance. My thesis examines social power dynamics in the artist-patron relationship in Renaissance Italy in order to discern who held power in these complex bonds and how such relationships influenced and impacted Renaissance society at large. This work is divided into two units. The first unit provides examples and arguments that maintain that the patron was the main influence in this dynamic. The second section argues the contrary; here I will explore circumstances wherein the artist executes power over their patron. The conclusion of my thesis explores the possibility of the existence of a middle ground, wherein power in the artist patron relationship during the Renaissance was flexible and shifted between both parties depending on the circumstance.


Renaissance, art, patron, artist, power, Italy, social influence, political influence

Subject Categories

European History


© Katherine E. Siegler

Open Access