This course emphasizes the practice of the discipline of art history by approaching artistic production thematically, focusing on art historical method and theory with reference to particular case studies. When appropriate, this seminar will meet jointly with other introductory courses that take this same approach to address both cultural difference and similarities of practice. This seminar will consider the artistic and political patronage of the powerful Medici family in the city of Florence during the 15th century. In particular, we will consider artistic style as a carrier of meaning, the uses of ambiguity as a strategy for propaganda, and the boundaries of typologies of imagery as they move between the private and the public, between civic and religious. The Medici began their profound interest in artistic patronage with works commissioned to Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Fra Angelico and ended the century by intervening in the production of other patrons with work by Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio, and Botticelli.