The Pennsylvania State University
Cover for the book Painting as Business in Early Seventeenth-Century Rome

Painting as Business in Early Seventeenth-Century Rome

Patrizia Cavazzini
  • Copyright: 2008
  • Dimensions: 9 x 10
  • Page Count: 256 pages
  • Illustrations: 24 color/47 b&w illustrations
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-03215-3

Winner, 2009 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

“A book that will overturn many long-held assumptions about the nature of art production in Rome.”
“The book, rich and variegated, is very enjoyable and often funny. But it also, in many important ways, challenges past assumptions and presents an entirely new portrait of the production and diffusion of art in Rome. Pleasurable, challenging and informative, this is an important book, which stands as a complement, and at some points as an adjustment, to Haskell’s celebrated Patrons and Painters.”
“Beautifully written and produced with instructive illustrations, this lively book provides a new, immensely compelling conception of seventeenth-century Rome.”
“In its own quiet way, this book offers a novel and groundbreaking reinterpretation of the art world of seventeenth-century Italy that could have a profound and lasting impact on our current understanding of the subject.”

Painting as Business in Early Seventeenth-Century Rome offers a new perspective on the world of painting in Rome at the beginning of the Baroque, from both an artistic and a socioeconomic point of view. Biased by the accounts of seventeenth-century biographers, who were often academic painters concerned about elevating the status of their profession, art historians have long believed that in Italy, and in Rome in particular, paintings were largely produced by major artists working on commission for the most important patrons of the time.

Patrizia Cavazzini’s extensive archival research reveals a substantially different situation. Cavazzini presents lively and colorful accounts of Roman artists’ daily lives and apprenticeships and investigates the vast popular art market that served the aesthetic, devotional, and economic needs of artisans and professionals and of the laboring class. Painting as Business reconstructs the complex universe of painters, collectors, and merchants and irrevocably alters our understanding of the production, collecting, and merchandising of painting during a key period in Italian art history.

Patrizia Cavazzini is an independent scholar. She is the author of Palazzo Lancellotti ai Coronari: Cantiere di Agostino Tassi (1998).


List of Illustrations




1. Artists and Craftsmen

2. Training

3. The Diffusion of Painting

4. The Market






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