Hans Maler, (German)
Portrait of Anton Fugger
Oil on panel
Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1961.
1525The Renaissance Connection
Schools of business along with manuals and guides providing useful information on how to conduct business flourished during the 15th and 16th centuries due to the emergence
of capitalism. The Italian businessmen who invented capitalism during this period demonstrated a remarkable understanding of economics and the technical skills required
to turn a profit from their businesses based on trade, manufacturing, and mining.
At first glance this the person depicted in the painting Portrait of Anton Fugger looks like a common citizen when in fact he was once considered the richest man in the world.
During the late 15th century his uncle, Jakob Fugger known as "Jakob the Rich" of Augsburg, Germany, created a world wide mercantile, banking, and industrial
empire. In 1525 Anton inherited the family business and continued to grow its holdings until his death in 1560.
The Fuggers are but one example of a family that embraced the capitalist entrepreneurial spirit of the time that resulted from the explosion of banking, business, and industry
during the Renaissance. Today's banking, business and economic practices are firmly rooted in the Renaissance, a time when a better life was sought through the accumulation
of both knowledge and wealth.