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The flowering of the arts and architecture during the Renaissance produced some of the most beautiful buildings, magnificent statues, and glorious paintings in Western history. All this was made possible by the emergence of rich patrons. Through trade, banking, and manufacturing, wealthy merchants along with monarchs and church leaders, sought to display their status and power in whatever way they could. Through their patronage and lavish lifestyles, which demanded beautiful possessions, patrons elevated the arts to unprecedented levels.