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© Seed Gallery New York

Donor is a term applied to a person who commissions and pays for the creation of a work of art. In Early Christian Art before and after 313 CE, a donor had his or her portrait incorporated in the artwork as an act of devotion. In essence, by having himself included in the picture, a donor sought to associate him or herself in a special way with the sacred figures portrayed in the work, either in thanks for favors received or in the hope of future protection and salvation. Aside from himself, the donor could also request the commissioned artist to include a member of his family in the artwork.



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