This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: To carry out the construction of the great architectural works of the times, rich merchants hired the most talented artists and paid them well to do their most inspired work. In constant efforts to maintain their position of power, merchants attempted to marry into nobility, and sometimes more importantly, gain public favor and recognition. To this end, merchants became great patrons of the arts. However, the grand artistic endeavors of the wealthy merchants did not always serve to impress the public. Masses of lower middle-class and lower- class citizens worked long hours at unpleasant tasks in the shadow of the wealthy merchants, known in Florence as "fat people." The lower classes knew there was little chance of their status improving, and watched with resentment as the city around them filled with exhibitions of the wealth of the upper-...
View Full Document
- Fall '08