Generally, a patron of the arts is defined as a person who supports artists with contributions of financial support, gifts, effort or endorsement. The art patronage system was historically significant throughout Europe during the Renaissance. One commonly cited example of a patron of the arts is Lorenzo de'Medici.
Also known as Lorenzo the Great, this Italian nobleman was the ruler of the Florentine Republic in the late 15th century. He provided financial support to artists of the Renaissance, such as the painter Botticelli and the sculptor Michelangelo, even allowing the latter to live in his home for five years. The Medici family was one of the wealthiest in Europe, combining the operation of the Medici Bank of Florence with the governance of the republic for decades.