Picturing Mobility: Late Medieval and Renaissance Naples at the Threshold of the Mediterranean
Nora Lambert, M.A.
This dissertation investigates works of art that both visualize and shape the potent relationships between place, power, and identity in Naples during the French Angevin and Spanish Aragonese regimes. Scholarship on Naples often places the city in a historiographically predetermined geography of the Italian peninsula that frames the Kingdom of Naples as a southern adjunct. My dissertation moves beyond both the Italian peninsula and Europe at large to consider how the late medieval and Renaissance Neapolitan monarchs positioned their city at the nexus of a multi-state and multi-faith Mediterranean through cultural exchanges. My project considers objects collected, commissioned, and circulated by the Angevin and Aragonese dynasties, exploring how they constructed transcontinental ties that extended to France, the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, and the Holy Land. I investigate both monumental and portable objects as crucial representations of interactions between Naples and other port cities and as objects fundamental to the formation and maintenance of constantly negotiated encounters. This project therefore positions Naples within a Mediterranean geography conceptualized according to Angevin and Aragonese priorities, political and familial ties, and expansionist motivations, while also taking a multidirectional approach to studying relationships cultivated between Neapolitan rulers and their overseas counterparts.