Dei gratia rex Sicilie: Scenes of Divine Coronation in the Norman Royal Iconography

Authors

Mirko Vagnoni

Synopsis

Logo_FedOAPress

Publisher: FedOA - Federico II University Press. 

Series: Regna. Texts and Studies on Institutions, Culture and Memory in Medieval Southern Italy. 

Pages: 186. 

Language: Italian.

Abstract: Following Percy Ernst Schramm’s studies on Staatssymbolik, historians have in general considered medieval royal portraits as images mirroring medieval notions of power and political ideology that can legitimate power and strengthen admiration of the king. This interpretation has also had a crucial impact on the analysis of monarchic ideologies and sacral kingship during the Middle Ages. However, the research prompted in Germany on the social praxis of Memoria has opened up new perspectives, by creating an active historiographical debate about the social function and meaning of royal portraits in the liturgical context during the Middle Ages (political/propagandistic vs religious/devotional).

This book aims to foster this debate by analysing the functions and meanings of monarchic pictures characterized by sacral figures and symbols and religious and liturgical contexts in the Norman kingdom of Sicily (1130-1189). In the specific, it investigates three royal portraits: St. Nikolas blesses Roger II in the Basilica of St. Nikolas in Bari; Christ crows Roger II in the Church of St. Mary of the Admiral in Palermo; and Christ crowns William II in the Cathedral of Monreale. By going beyond traditional methodological tactics, its exegesis avoids a ‘one-way’ approach in which artwork is analysed in an ‘autonomous’ manner that extrapolates it from its historical, political and functional context. Moreover, it studies royal portraiture as part of a wider communicative strategy to create a mise-en-scène around the monarchic figure by comparing the iconographic sources and the information provided by written evidence regarding the monarch’s official kingship.

This new analysis of the Norman royal portraits in the religious and liturgical context leads to original perspectives and uses new cues to reformulate the traditional ideas held by historiography in this regard and on political ideologies and royal sacrality.

 

Table of Contents

Ringraziamenti 

 

Capitolo I. Introduzione

1. Il ritratto regio: una fonte per lo studio della regalità medievale

2. Problemi metodologici ed esegetici della fonte iconografica

3. Il caso dei re normanni di Sicilia

4. Approccio metodologico

 

Capitolo II. La placchetta della Basilica di San Nicola a Bari

1. Committenza

2. Datazione

3. Destinazione e contesto architettonico

4. Caratteristiche iconografiche

5. Soggetti e temi figurativi

6. Posizionamento e visibilità

7. Funzione e messaggio

8. Contesto storico-politico

9. Contesto ideologico-culturale

 

Capitolo III. Il mosaico della Chiesa di Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio a Palermo

1. Committenza

2. Datazione

3. Destinazione e contesto architettonico

4. Caratteristiche iconografiche

5. Soggetti e temi figurativi

6. Posizionamento e visibilità

7. Funzione e messaggio

8. Contesto storico-politico

9. Contesto ideologico-culturale

 

Capitolo IV. Il mosaico della Cattedrale di Monreale

1. Committenza

2. Datazione

3. Destinazione e contesto architettonico

4. Caratteristiche iconografiche

5. Soggetti e temi figurativi

6. Posizionamento e visibilità

7. Funzione e messaggio

8. Contesto storico-politico

9. Contesto ideologico-culturale 

 

Capitolo V. Conclusioni 

 

Appendice iconografica

 

Bibliografia

Indici

Indice dei nomi

Indice dei luoghi

Author Biography

Mirko Vagnoni

Mirko Vagnoni is Senior Researcher and Dr.-Assistant in Medieval Art History at the Université de Fribourg (Switzerland). His main topic of research is royal iconography and sacrality in the kingdom of Sicily during the Norman and Swabian period. On this topic he has given presentations at conferences and published several papers. For example, the book: Le rappresentazioni del potere. La sacralità regia dei Normanni di Sicilia: un mito? (Bari, 2012).

Cover for Dei gratia rex Sicilie: Scenes of Divine Coronation in the Norman Royal Iconography

Details about this monograph

ISBN-13 (15)
978-88-6887-018-8
Publication date (01)
2017-10-30
doi
10.6093/978-88-6887-018-8