Here’s the commission.

I’m curious how a word that once meant something like instructions for authority or delegation of power came to mean a work paid for by an authority. When the Medicis commissioned artwork, were they delegating authority? Or does it, perhaps, stem from the idea of empowering someone – that is, with money, you can empower an artist to create. The fact is, though, you are likely essentially giving them a very specific task to accomplish – so it’s not REALLY empowerment. It’s the kind of empowerment, I’d totally accept but still –

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