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Sforza Art Patrons

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Submitted By myia83
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One of the lesser known families who patronized art during the Renaissance was the Sforza family. The Sforza family was founded by Muzio Attendolo Sforza. Muzio was a powerful Italian war leader. The name Sforza comes from Sforzae which means to exert or force. The Sforza rose from a lineage of peasants. They used their positions as war leaders to become rulers of Milan. The Sforza family was considerably similar to the Medici family of Florence, Italy. Many members of the family held important positions within the church and political arenas.

One of the Sforza’s most well known commissions would be the Last Supper by Leonardo DaVinci. This piece was commissioned by Duke Ludovico Sforza and Duchess Beatrice d’Este. Some sources say The Last Supper painting was originally created to serve as a centerpiece for the family’s mausoleum. It took DaVinci three years to complete this painting as he did not work continuously. I discovered that DaVinci was a well known procrastinator. It was normal for him to even leave works undone sometimes.

The Last Supper depicts the story of Jesus announcing to his twelve disciples that one of them would soon betray him. The piece is a mural that measures some 15 feet by 29 feet. While most paintings of this time were created with oil paints, this particular piece was created with tempera on gesso, pitch and mastic. Leonardo used some experimental techniques for this painting which over time, proved to be a bad idea Once completed, The Last Supper was placed in the dining area at the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. . DaVinci’s experimental techniques began to peel destroying the beautiful painting.

Works Cited
"The Last Supper (Leonardo Da Vinci)." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Feb. 2012. Web. 25 Feb. 2012. .
"Leonardo Da Vinci (1452 - 1519) Italian Renaissance Artist." The Worldwide Art Gallery. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. .
"Sforza Family". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2012. Web. 25 Feb. 2012

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