Kansas City, MO
Artists were often called upon to make decorative designs for their wealthy patrons and did not always depict “high art” like Old and New Testaments scenes or historical or mythological subjects. Sometimes these involved deluxe versions of objects like plates and goblets, sometimes coats of arms or stained glass, sometimes even frontispieces to books or book-markers.
Decorative landscapes and still lifes became increasingly popular for the furnishing of large mansions, both in town and country. If they included classical ruins, whether real or imaginary, this implied the patron was well-travelled and sophisticated. Such landscapes were also used as backdrops in the theater, in which case they would usually be arranged in some form of perspective.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website