Giulio Romano (Italian, 1499?–1546). Design for a Casket with the Gonzaga Eagle, ca. 1527–1546. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1965 (65.125.3)

While in some cases the artist himself completely controls the look of his design, in other situations the voice of a patron or financier is the deciding factor in the execution of a design. Such is the case in this design for a casket (65.125.3) by the famous Italian court artist Giulio Romano (1499?–1546). The casket is one of the many designs he made while working as a court artist at the Gonzaga court of Mantua. In the design Romano offers various options for its execution—most notably presenting two different ways of filling the space between the Gonzaga eagle and the decorative lion's feet with an acanthus scroll at left, and a palm leaf at right.

Anonymous, French, 18th century. Design for a Clock, ca. 1781–1785. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Raphael Esmerian, 1960 (60.692.7)

A different type of patron involvement is represented by this drawing of a Sèvres porcelain clock (60.692.7). The drawing is part of a large group of drawings ordered by Prince Albert Casimir, duke of Teschen, following his installment as governor of the Austrian Netherlands in 1781. Prince Albert asked for examples of the finest Parisian furniture in order to decide how best to decorate his new palace in Brussels. For this purpose, many contemporary pieces of furniture were copied in drawings and sent to the Prince. This porcelain mantel clock must have been very popular at the time; it was sold by various clock makers in Paris, and even Queen Marie-Antoinette herself had a version in blue in her apartments at Versailles.