The church of Santa Maria Donna Regina in Naples is a rare example of aristocratic convent architecture in Italy, designed and built for the devotional use of the Clarissan nuns. Its decorative programme rivals that of Giotto's Arena Chapel in Padua in scope, iconographical complexity, and quality of artistic production. The first book in English on this important church, this elegantly written volume is also the first full-scale study to bring together innovative interdisciplinary research on the building. The authors explore themes relating to the architecture, decoration, sculpture, iconography, audience, liturgy, and patronage of Santa Maria Donna Regina, enriching our understanding of the art patronage of royal women and the monastic experience of Clarissan nuns, as well as the politics, culture and patronage of trecento Naples. Over one hundred illustrations, many commissioned specially for the book, accompany the text.
'The essays are uniformely well written and researched and are greatly helped by the numerous illustrations.' Contemporary Review '… makes a ground-breaking and important contribution not only to our understanding of the art and architecture of the church of Santa Maria Donna Regina but indeed the larger artistic and cultural context of early modern Naples.' Aislinn Loconte, Renaissance Journal 'Here is a real jewel: an exemplary collaboration that has produced a prolific study of a forgotten Trecento masterpiece. This book on the surprisingly well-preserved Church of Santa Maria Donna Regina contains studies in social and religious history and in royal patronage in Naples during the late Middle Ages. The broad cultural exposition serves as the setting for a marvelous anthology of masterly studies of the artistic expressions of this patronage. The book is of extreme importance for any lover of art history.' Renaissance Quarterly ’… this collection of essays [is] extremely unified, and an enormously useful, genuinely collaborative, research enterprise…The numerous black-and-white and colour images of the church and its decoration, often of far better quality than anything previously available, add to the usefulness of this book as a scholarly resource.’ Art History
Contents: Introduction, Janis Elliott and Cordelia Warr; Prologue: history of the building and restoration of the trecento church, Rosa Anna Genovese; Religious patronage and royal propaganda in Angevin Naples: Santa Maria Donna Regina in context, Samantha Kelly; Maria of Hungary as queen, patron and exemplar, Matthew J. Clear; Mater Serenissimi Principis: The tomb of Maria of Hungary, Tanja Michalsky; The architectural context of Santa Maria Donna Regina, Caroline Bruzelius; Contemplating angels and the Madonna of the Apocalypse, Hisashi Yakou; 'To exercise yourself in these things by continued contemplation': visual and textual literacy in the frescoes at Santa Maria Donna Regina, Cathleen A. Fleck; The 'Passion' cycle: images to contemplate and imitate amid Clarissan clausura, Adrian S. Hoch; The Golden Legend and the cycle of the 'Life of Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia-Hungary', Cordelia Warr; The 'Last Judgement': the cult of sacral kingship and dynastic hopes for the afterlife, Janis Elliott; Conclusion: Santa Maria Donna Regina in its European context, Julian Gardner; Bibliography; Index