CRAFTING NOBILITY IN TRECENTO SICILY: THE PAINTED CEILING OF THE PALAZZO CHIARAMONTE-STERI
Streahle, Kristen E.G.
This doctoral thesis situates the Mediterranean island of Sicily as a magnet of competing political desires in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries: for the Kingdom of Aragón, the island provides a stepping stone towards recovering the Holy Lands and recuperating a Norman legacy; for the Angevins at Naples, a strategically-placed military asset; and, according to the Papacy, a treasure stolen and tumbling to perdition. Locally, Sicilian nobility negotiated each of these claims in a variety of ways. My focus on the Chiaramonte family and their patronage of art and architecture, especially at the Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri, demonstrates how commissions operated as a key tactic of gaining visibility and legitimacy in the face of continual upheaval. The dissertation unfolds in two sections proceeded by a comprehensive introduction to the monument and the Chiaramonte family: in the first section, composed of three chapters, I focus on the tradition of painted ceilings in Sicily and treat at length the painted beamed ceiling of the Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri’s reception room, the so-called Sala Magna. The second part of the project, divided into two chapters, investigates the Chiaramonte family's involvement in rehabilitating Sicily’s reputation in light of its challenged religious status.
Medieval Literature; architecture; Art history; Mediterranean; ceiling; medieval; patronage; Sicily; vernacular
Migiel, Marilyn; Galloway, Andrew Scott; Toorawa, Shawkat M.
History of Art, Archaeology and Visual Studies
Ph. D., History of Art, Archaeology and Visual Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis