Итальянская живопись на досках XIII–XV вв. как средство демонстрации идентичностей
The article examines the double identity of altar retables and some other types of thirteenth- to fifteenth-century painting in churches in Florence and Venice which were commissioned by private patrons or lay confraternities for the churches of mendicant orders. The vows of poverty and the rigorous statutes of these orders severely limited the possibility of their being direct patrons of art objects in their churches. Nevertheless they made available private spaces (chapels and altars) to wealthy families and lay confraternities. This helped them to raise money and to strengthen their relations with the city laity. However these spaces were never entirely private, as they were often used by the clergy who thoroughly controlled their iconographic programs and decorative schemes. Thus the panel paintings examined here reflect the identity of the donors by placing, families’ coats of arms, or figures of the patron saints of family members and of the order. by means of sophisticated iconography programs could be composed by and for the monks themselves. By controlling the art objects in many private chapels in their churches the congregations obtained cohesive semantic and artistic ensembles initiated and paid for by private donors. The means of arranging such ensembles can be labeled indirect patronage which became an effective substitute of direct patronage to mendicant orders.