The Sicilian Connection: Imperial Themes in Simone Martini’s St. Louis of Toulouse Altarpiece

Norman, Diana (2014). The Sicilian Connection: Imperial Themes in Simone Martini’s St. Louis of Toulouse Altarpiece. Gesta, 53(1) pp. 25–45.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/675416

Abstract

This article focuses on the early fourteenth-century panel painting by Simone Martini known from its design and subject as the St. Louis of Toulouse Altarpiece, now housed in the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples. Arguing that the altarpiece was probably the result of a commission awarded by one or more leading members of the Angevin royal family that ruled southern Italy during this period, this study engages with three principal issues. First, it discusses the extent to which the striking double coronation represented on the main panel of the altarpiece was indebted to a number of prestigious twelfth- and late thirteenth-century images executed in and around Palermo, the former capital of the Angevin kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Second, it addresses the question of how each of the three potential royal commissioners might have had personal knowledge of these Sicilian prototypes. Finally, it explores how the choice of such a subject and the painter’s acknowledgment of these powerful and effective models of dynastic imagery could have been fueled by the ambitions of Simone Martini’s royal patrons to claim sovereignty over a Mediterranean empire—even if, in reality, no such empire existed.

Viewing alternatives

Metrics

Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions

Export

Recommendations