Thursday, May 7, 2015

Renaissance religious art set the example for buying art as social signalling

By C.B. Liddell
"Annunciation" (1481) by Sandro Botticelli
JAPAN---All exhibitions that deal with the distant past inevitably fall into the trap of anachronism to some degree. This is especially true when they try to present a strong storyline that appeals to modern audiences, as the present exhibition at Bunkamura The Museum does with “Money and Beauty: Botticelli and the Renaissance in Florence.” It promotes the notion that the rich and successful of the period “splashed out” on art and decoration in an obvious attempt at conspicuous consumption. But is it really as simple as that? For the rich, buying art is not a simple equation of turning wealth into beauty. While beauty is often important, other factors, such as social signalling and political function.... [link]