The most famous works of art from the Italian Renaissance exist in very public spaces, such as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel paintings. During the Renaissance, Italy consisted of small city-states, all with their own government, politics, and culture. 
Wealthy families in these city-states had large amounts of political power and would commission public works of art in their name to showcase their power and wealth. 
Artists gained status and respect in the Italian community because of the publicity of their work. 
Artists would compete with each other to paint, sculpt, or engineer important buildings and projects, such as the Duomo and the Sistine Chapel.
Artists were paid very well and became highly revered by Italians.
Italian Renaissance artists were multi-talented. Most of them, like Michaelangelo, Raphael, and Leonardo da Vinci were also sculptors and engineers, as well as drawers and painters. 
The public nature of the art meant that multiple people worked on one project. Art workshops with apprentices became popular and the arts became an important aspect of Italian Renaissance life.