2019 International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, MI
IAS-Sponsored Session

Session I: Narrating power, Showing Chivalry: For a Visual Cultural History of Late Medieval Sicily

Sangren 1710
Friday May 10, 10am-11:30am

Organizer: Licia Buttà, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona

Presider: Maud Pérez-Simon, Univ. de Paris 3, Sorbonne Nouvelle

The chivalric world represented on the beams of the main hall ceiling on the first floor of the palace was conceived in order to enhance the figure of the powerful patron Manfredi. The iconographic types of courtly love, along with the narrative development of emblematic stories belonging to the literary repertoire shared with the main medieval European courts, show the figure of Chiaromonte interwoven with images of noble virtues, distinctive of self-representation mechanisms of the noble elites. The paintings on the ceiling stand as faint shadows of a literary tradition that helped bring about the relationship between adventure and war narration, and that of courtly love. The images are therefore aimed at the construction of a rhetorical discourse around the prince and his virtues, and are an invaluable resource for the history of art as well as for the cultural history of Sicily at the end of the Middle Ages.


Patrizia Sardina, Univ. degli studi di Palermo
"The Dames of the Chiaromonte Family between Image and Reality"
Licia Buttà, Universitat Rovira I Virgili, Tarragona
“'Speculum Principum': biblical exempla and composite iconography in the painted ceiling of the Sala Magna at the Chiaromonte Palace in Palermo"
Kristen Streahle, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz
"When Tristan sails south: Trecento Sicilian workshops and the creation of ekphrastic narrative experience"
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