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Bellini and Perugino were to be paid 100 ducats for their paintings in Isabella’s studiolo . Bellini had originally asked 150 ducats but was apparently willing to discount the price in deference of his client’s social position. Isabella’s Cupid, the one reputed to be by Praxiteles, was valued at 800 ducats. She had not bought it outright but had arranged for its owners to be awarded a benefice in Mantua with an income of 150 ducats annually. (As is mentioned below, she was able to separate Mantegna from his bust of Faustina by taking over a debt.)
If surpluses are used in charity, or in cooperatives for human purposes such as home-building for the less affluent, life necessarily becomes simpler and the ideal of voluntary poverty cannot be far behind. The Christian doctrine of property becomes a reality, namely the retaining of a sufficiency of goods for an adequate life and the sharing of the remainder with the needy. In point of fact, millions of Christians, working for wages, actually live out this teaching on property. How else do we explain the world-wide network of the works of mercy supported by the small gifts of the many, Though there are Catholic millionaires, the masses of Catholics are rather the victims than the beneficiaries of corporations as they roam about the world seeking profits.