San Giovanni Maggiore: Architecture and Art at the Gates of Ancient Naples


Alfredo Buccaro
Università di Napoli Federico II



Publisher: FedOA Press (Federico II University Press). 

Series: UrbsHistoriaeImago. Storia e immagine dei territori, dei centri urbani e delle architetture. 

Pages: 224. 

Language: Italian; English


Abstract: An examination of the literature sources, of the archival documents, of the iconographic and cartographic repertoire to reconstruct the key moments of the fascinating architectural and artistic history of one of the most famous monuments of our city. The Basilica of San Giovanni Maggiore is now the result of often ominous and even criminal events, or of some imprudent interventions, that the recent renovations have been able to remedy only partially. Nevertheless, thanks to the constant care and to the appropriate use by the Engineers Order of Naples, it has been lately given back to the city: not only as an important place of worship, but also as a cultural center and a social gathering site, placed in such a significant area of the historic center of Naples, UNESCO World Heritage since 1995. The architectural and artistic analysis of the Basilica has been preceded by a description of urban history in late Antiquity and in the early Middle Ages; it had its fulcrum in the hill of Monterone, now largo of San Giovanni Maggiore, with an irregular and tortuous web, preserved up to us. This work proposes in the second part an updated summary analysis of existing artistic works in the Basilica, as well as those placed in some other locations in order to be preserved or restored.



Preface                                    6

Luigi Vinci


Introduction                             10


Chapter 1                                 15

Between sea and antique city

Alfredo Buccaro

  1. Development of early medieval Naples
  2. The Basilica in urban-historic context


Chapter 2                                 41

The architecture

Alfredo Buccaro

  1. The origins of the building and the ancient evidence
  2. The Christian and early medieval basilica
  3. Transformations of the church in the 1300s
  4. Construction events in the 15th and 16th centuries
  5. The great works of the 1600s and 1700s: the cupola by Dionisio Lazzari and new altar by Domenico Antonio Vaccaro
  6. 19th century interventions and recent restorations


Chapter 3                                 115

The interiors and artworks

Raffaele Ruggiero

  1. The left nave
  2. The Chapel of the Confraternity of the Sixty-Six Priests
  3. The Chapel of the Confraternity of “Whites of the Holy Sacrament”
  4. The transept
  5. The right nave and counter-facade
  6. Other works originating from the Basilica
  7. The Neapolitan marble calendar

 Bibliography                           215

Author Biographies

Alfredo Buccaro, Università di Napoli Federico II

Alfredo Buccaro is professor of History of Architecture at the Department of Architecture of the University of Naples Federico II, director of the Interdepartmental Research Centre on the Iconography of the European City (CIRICE) and of University magazine Eikonocity. Among his books: Opere pubbliche e tipologie urbane nel Mezzogiorno preunitario (Electa, 1992), Antonio Rinaldi architetto vanvitelliano a San Pietroburgo (with G. Kjučarianc e P. Miltenov, Mondadori, 2003), Architettura e urbanistica dell’età borbonica. Le opere dello Stato, i luoghi dell’industria (with G. Matacena, Electa, 2004), Leonardo da Vinci. Il Codice Corazza nella Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli (Ediz. Scientifiche Italiane/CB Edizioni, 2011).

Raffaele Ruggiero

Raffaele Ruggiero is head teacher, formerly professor of art history in high schools. Among his works: Teoria e prassi, in Uomo e ambiente costruito, ed. G. de Franciscis (Officina, 1988), La chiesa del Real Monastero dei Santi Pietro e Sebastiano (Liceo V. E. Napoli, 2009), Castel Capuano nell’iconografia e nella cartografia storica, in Castel Capuano. La cittadella della Cultura giuridica e della Legalità. Restauro e valorizzazione, ed. Aldo Aveta (E. de Rosa, 2013), Il disegno della città europea nelle raccolte cartografiche della Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli, in Imago Urbis, eds. C. de Seta, N. Ossanna Cavadini (Silvana Ed., 2016).

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December 15, 2016

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