Bianca de Divitiis: The Legacy of Antiquity and the Medieval Tradition in the Southern Renaissance


According to an enduring historiographical paradigm, Southern Italy has for a long time been regarded as a uniform monarchical, baronial and rural region, a land of conquest inhabited by subjects rather than citizens, incapable of contributing to the new humanistic culture.

This conference will illustrate some aspects of a five years interdisciplinary ERC project which aims to challenge such traditional and rooted prejudices, as well as the monolithic idea we have of the Renaissance, producing a more integrated and balanced picture of southern Italy in respect to the traditional one. By illustrating selected cases from Campania and Basilicata, I will show how the cities of southern Italy fully participated to the new humanistic culture and elaborated a specific kind of Renaissance which relied on the conspicuous presence of surviving antiquities, on the strength of local medieval traditions, and the condition of being part of the same strong and centralized Reign.

Bianca de Divitiis is Associate Professor of History of Art at the University of Naples Federico II and Principal Investigator of the five years project (2011-2016) financed by the European Research Council entitled 'Historical Memory, Antiquarian Culture, Artistic Patronage: Social Identities of the Centres of Southern Italy between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period'. She has achieved her degree at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Naples Federico II and has obtained a Ph.D in History of Architecture at the School of Advanced Studies in Venice. She has received post-doctoral fellowships from the IUAV University in Venice, The Warburg Institute, Villa I Tatti - Havard Centre for the Studies in Italian Renaissance Studies, The Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and Architecture, and the Francis Haskell Memorial Fund. Her main research fields are eighteenth and nineteenth century British architecture, and architecture, patronage and antiquarian culture in the Kingdom of Naples between the fifteenth and sixteenth century. She has published several articles in international journal such as The Burlington Magazine (2003), The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians (2007), Art History (2008), The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes (2007; 2010), and a book on the architectural patronage of the Carafa family in fifteenth century Naples (Marsilio Venezia 2007).

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut
Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze
Dr. Elisabetta Scirocco  


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