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a/the patron Options
coag
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 4:46:17 PM

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Hello all,

Which of the following two sentences is correct with regard to the use of the articles?
1. Frederick the Great was a patron of many artists.
2. Frederick the Great was the patron of many artists.
thar
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 5:40:10 PM

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Either is possible, but 'the' sounds better.
#
And 'a' sounds better with 'to' - maybe because that is his relationship with them, not their relationship to him! d'oh!

He was a patron of artists. Other people were also patrons (of other artists), so he was just one of a category of patrons.
He was a patron to many artists. He was also a donor to museums and schools and a lover of good food.

He was the patron of artists. He was the patron of X, and he was the patron of Y. Each had only one patron, and he was that patron. He was the one specified person who was their patron.
He was the patron of many artists. He was also the founder of the local museum.
sureshot
Posted: Monday, December 2, 2019 10:27:58 PM
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coag wrote:
Hello all,

Which of the following two sentences is correct with regard to the use of the articles?
1. Frederick the Great was a patron of many artists.
2. Frederick the Great was the patron of many artists.


____________

I would prefer to use "a". The use of "the" should not sway one's choice. "Frederick the Great" should be treated as one name. It is akin to saying one name. "A patron" implies that he was one amongst several other patrons. "The" is correct if both the reader/listener and the speaker can identify one definite noun (= patron). Since more than patron is likely, the use of indefinite article "a" is the preferred choice.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 3:08:10 AM

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sureshot wrote:
coag wrote:
Hello all,

Which of the following two sentences is correct with regard to the use of the articles?
1. Frederick the Great was a patron of many artists.
2. Frederick the Great was the patron of many artists.


____________

I would prefer to use "a". The use of "the" should not sway one's choice. "Frederick the Great" should be treated as one name. It is akin to saying one name. "A patron" implies that he was one amongst several other patrons. "The" is correct if both the reader/listener and the speaker can identify one definite noun (= patron). Since more than patron is likely, the use of indefinite article "a" is the preferred choice.


Well except that a King like Fredrick the Great probably was the sole patron of many artists, it was quite common to have people on retainer for the sole use of the Royal court.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 3:59:51 AM

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I must admit I didn't't even notice the name - I was already thinking about the article, and a more 1-few aristocratic or wealthy patron not a royal court.
coag
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 2:33:26 PM

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The example:
Frederick the Great was the patron of many artists.
is from the Oxford dictionary.

I posted the question because I expected to see "a patron" in an isolated sentence (a sentence without context).

In the Collins dictionary I found this example:
Catherine the Great was a patron of the arts and sciences.

thar wrote:
And 'a' sounds better with 'to' - maybe because that is his relationship with them, not their relationship to him! d'oh!

There might be something here. Especially if I rewrite Oxford's sentence as:
Frederick the Great was the patron saint of many artists.
I could interpret this as: many artists deemed him their sainted patron, the patron.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 3:31:34 PM

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coag wrote:
The example:
Frederick the Great was the patron of many artists.
is from the Oxford dictionary.

I posted the question because I expected to see "a patron" in an isolated sentence (a sentence without context).

In the Collins dictionary I found this example:
Catherine the Great was a patron of the arts and sciences.

thar wrote:
And 'a' sounds better with 'to' - maybe because that is his relationship with them, not their relationship to him! d'oh!

There might be something here. Especially if I rewrite Oxford's sentence as:
Frederick the Great was the patron saint of many artists.
I could interpret this as: many artists deemed him their sainted patron, the patron.




No it’s not to do with being a spiritual guide or inspiration to artists in this case he directly gave money to artists in order for them to perform their artistic endeavours.

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Patron
Quote:
tron (pā′trən)
n.
1. One that supports, protects, or champions someone or something, such as an institution, event, or cause; a sponsor or benefactor: a patron of the arts.

It comes from the ancient Roman practise of someone of higher rank granting favours to others of lower ranks.

Quote:
a. A noble or wealthy person in ancient Rome who granted favor and protection to someone in exchange for certain services.

In the UK there are posts like the Poet Laureate, the Master of the Queen’s Music and even in the sciences like the Astronomer Royal that are paid by the Crown to perform their duties.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Reiko07
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 6:09:59 PM

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thar wrote:

He was the patron of artists. He was the patron of X, and he was the patron of Y. Each had only one patron, and he was that patron. He was the one specified person who was their patron.
He was the patron of many artists. He was also the founder of the local museum.

Hello, thar. Angel Please look at the following sentence:

Mr. Davis is the patron of artist Jack Baker.

Does the imply that Davis is the sole patron of Jack?


My English is probably at CEFR A2 level.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 7:01:50 PM

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Yes.

The noun itself has that meaning - you only have one patron. You might have several sponsors, but only one patron. But even if you could have several, that would be 'a' member of that group. 'The' something is the only one, or the only one specified by a phrase in that sentence.


People are often referred to as 'a patron of the arts' - ie they give money to artistic and cultural causes, organisations and charities. But many people do that - they are only one of that group.

But if you give financial backing to a particular artist, and are their main supporter, then you are the patron of X.
It is not common nowadays. Wealthy people have charities and trusts and ways of distributing money, but they are not often what you would call the patron of any individual artist.
In the past a wealthy individual would financially support an artist, and maybe promote their career. In return they would expect works of their art to be provided for them, and have the cachet of being linked with a talented artist.

eg
Quote:
Once upon a time, if you were a budding young composer needing a roof over your head you had to work for the church, get a job at a palace, or find a rich patron to support you. Here are a few of classical music history's greatest patrons:


Baron Gottfried van Swieten

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wasn't ever well-behaved enough to please the church – the Archbishop of Salzburg’s steward once kicked Mozart down the stairs. But the composer found Baron Gottfried van Swieten (1733-1803) much more helpful. A mover and shaker in 1780s Vienna, the Baron was a man who genuinely loved his music; he even wrote some. He not only financially supported Mozart, but also Beethoven and Haydn – not in the form of a salary but rather by handing out very generous tips.

The piece he made possible: The Baron invited Mozart to play for an audience of bigwigs in Vienna – which led to the commissioning of his great opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio.



The Esterházy family

Prince Nikolaus Esterhazy

Joseph Haydn was lucky to have a job for life from the wealthy Esterházy family of Hungary. Haydn was hired by Prince Paul Anton Esterházy in 1761, and from 1762 to 1790 served under his successor Nikolaus. During the later four-year reign of Prince Anton, the Esterházys went without music and Haydn, who was happily kept on a retainer, spent a lot of time in England. Finally, during the reign of Nikolaus II (pictured), Haydn returned to work for the family on a part-time basis.

The piece they made possible: Haydn spent his summers in Eisenstadt and composed a mass dedicated to Nikolaus II's wife every year until 1802. Mass in Time of War is the most famous of them.


Mitrofan Belyayev

Belyayev (1836-1903) was a wealthy Russian industrialist who would have preferred to have been a professional musician. He became one of the 19th century’s great musical encouragers, and through his friendship with the composer and teacher Anatoly Lyadov, he was able to give financial support to composers including Glazunov, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin, whose music he published on generous terms and at his own expense. In 1884 he set up an annual Glinka prize.

The piece he made possible: At Rimsky-Korsakov's suggestion, Belyayev founded the Russian Symphony Concerts, a series open only to Russian composers. Among the works written especially for it were the three by Rimsky-Korsakov by which he is best known — Scheherazade, the Russian Easter Festival Overture and Capriccio espagnol.


You can see that if you are a wealthy aristocrat or industrialist paying money to support an artist, you want to be their only patron!


A patron doesn't have to be male, of course!
Quote:
Nadezhda von Meck

This hugely wealthy widow always got her own way, so when she decided to take up the cause of financing Tchaikovsky for 13 years, she was astonishingly generous – but on condition that the two of them never met; that would only have led to disappointment. As their relationship developed, she provided him with an allowance of 6,000 roubles a year. This was a small fortune. A minor government official in those days had to support his family on 300–400 roubles a year.

The piece she made possible: Tchaikovsky dedicated his Symphony No. 4 to the woman who made it possible for him to compose full-time. Dedications of works to patrons in Russia were expressions of artistic partnership. By dedicating his Fourth Symphony to von Meck, Tchaikovsky was effectively naming her an equal partner in its creation.
coag
Posted: Tuesday, December 3, 2019 11:11:21 PM

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What about:
Mr. Davis is the patron of many artists.
Is the use of the definite article with patron correct here? Does the sentence sound natural?

I don't think that at the present time patrons and artists are paired uniquely. A successful artist can support several struggling artists. And, a struggling artist, I think, would welcome financial support from several sources.

Reiko07
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 2:18:30 AM

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thar wrote:
Yes.

The noun itself has that meaning - you only have one patron. You might have several sponsors, but only one patron. But even if you could have several, that would be 'a' member of that group. 'The' something is the only one, or the only one specified by a phrase in that sentence.

Thanks, thar. Angel


My English is probably at CEFR A2 level.
Romany
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 10:53:37 AM
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Coag -

I think you must have missed one of the posts above which explained the difference between being a supporter and being a patron.

The word "patron" came to us from Italian and, at least in Europe and elsewhere, retains the sense/nuance it has in that language.

Yes, successful artists, musicians, actors, scientists, historians etc. do help support those who are struggling in their different fields. They SUPPORT the Arts and individual Artists (or scientists, actors etc.).

So does some ridiculously wealthy couple who pays $1,000 for a plate of cold chicken & limp salad at a Fundraising Banquet. (This can be classed as a Charitable Donation on their Income Tax). They, too, see themselves as "supporting" the Arts.

But to be a Patron is to FUND an artist or a particular project/field of the arts. It usually includes housing the artist; arranging all their publicity, exhibitions, staff needed, etc. etc. The reason a Patron usually takes on only one at a time is because it's a pretty expensive and time-consuming endeavour for it to work and bring the budding star to public recognition.

However, I did look at a couple of USA dictionaries, which don't seem to differentiate between a supporter and a Patron. So perhaps it doesn't apply in AE?
coag
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 5:27:21 PM

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Thanks all for your contributions.

As a curiosity, here's an example of "patron" without an article.
She's patron of the Butler Trust, a charity which rewards positive prison work.
(Longman Dictionary)
thar
Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019 6:04:08 PM

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That is Princess Anne. Royals are patrons as in figureheads - they may donate money to the cause - because they become patron of causes they care about, but that is different from being the patron of an artist.


It really inly includes those where the name is a feature in itself. Ie if the Queen is patron of the charity, it is probably legit and well-regarded.

Quote:
The Queen is patron to 510 charities in Britain, including Cancer Research UK, the British Red Cross and Barnado's



Eg the Butler Trust. It has a royal patron. A stamp of respect, and a marketing tool.
Especially if you can get her to arrange to have the annual do round her Mum's gaff. Whistle


Quote:
WHO WE ARE
Royal Patron
HRH The Princess Royal has been a Patron of the Trust since its inception in 1985.

The Princess has presented the Awards every year since the Trust was launched in 1985. In recent years the Ceremony has generally been held at Buckingham Palace – though other venues have included: St James’s Palace, the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh and Lambeth Palace.

Her Royal Highness also takes a keen on-going interest in the work of our Award Winners and Commendees and makes regular visits to their places of work, in prisons, probation and youth justice settings across the UK.

Other Patrons
The Most Reverend and the Rt Hon the Archbishop of Canterbury

The Rt Hon the Lord Woolf

Baroness Linklater of Butterstone

The Lady Slynn of Hadley

Sir Trevor Brooking CBE

The Hon Sarah Price

Mr Terry Waite CBE

Reverend Peter Timms OBE MA

Mr Tony Pearson CBE

Trustees
Mr Malcolm Butler – Chair

Ms Claudia Sturt – Treasurer

Mr Geoff Dobson OBE

Sir Michael Harrison – Chair of Awarding Panel

Prof Alison Liebling

Mr PJ McParlin

Mr Bob Perry

Mr Andrew Selous MP

Mrs Jeanette Whitford

Mrs Barbara Wilding CBE

Ms Zoe Williams


It has a royal patron, other patrons (the great and the good, like the Archbishop of Canterbury, which is the highest post in the Church of England) - names like an ex England football player (unless there are two Trevor Brookings!), an ex Chief Justice of England and Wales, politicians, a diplomat (currently Embassador to Finland), a prison governor (he set up the charity), a former deputy director of the prison service; Terry Waite, mediator and long-time hostage.- people with an interest in this area who have a certain status - a 'name'.
They are not all rich.
It is not about them being the "financial backer" - although I am sure they are all donors to lesser I greater extents.

Then you have the trustees who are the board making the decisiins, and the staff doing the work - of which some is to persuade other organisations and people to give them money to run the charity.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 1:44:03 AM

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Coag one thing it might help to understand is that patron has a number of subtlety different meanings depending on the context in which it is written,

“Fredrick the Great was the patron to many artists” we know because of the cultural and historical context of that sentence, how a king in Enlightenment Europe was supposed to act what that sentence means.
To be a patron of something in the modern era is not the same as it was then and fits the definitions given by thar and sureshot at the start of the thread and in thars last post.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
coag
Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2019 1:44:58 PM

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Thanks again, thar and Sarrriesfan.
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