The essay "Michael Baxandall's painting and experience in 15th century Italy" discovers the Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy By Michael Baxandall. The contracts were usually flexible, and there was regular contact between the artist and client during the production phase. The details of color were often specified, since the ingredients of some colors, like gold, silver, and blue, were either expensive or available in different qualities. Though the importance of gold diminished as the 15th century wore on, partly as a result of a general cultural movement away from ostentatious displays of wealth as well as a general shortage of gold and the Christian asceticism that was beginning to make its influence felt. However, as the use of blue and gold faded, something had to replace the gilding traditionally found behind the figures in the foreground. Thus, landscapes, angels, and other things were employed to fill the space, and the skill of the artist became more conspicuous and more important, as did the distinction between rates for the work of the “master” artist as opposed to his apprentices. Little reason existed to critique such works, and few written examples of such opinions have survived; those that have are somewhat unhelpful – what is meant by virile as opposed to sweet or angelic air? Changes in the visual skills of the members of the culture as well as their experience of everyday life were reflected in the paintings of the time much more quickly than under.
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