The funerary monuments of the Carafa family: self-commemoration and ecclesiastic influence in early-Renaissance Naples
Master of Arts (MA)
Tombs serve as opportunities for individuals to be remembered in specific ways long after their death. A funerary monument offers valuable insight into the self-representation of individuals within society in any period of time. Naples is well known for its elaborate tomb architecture from the Angevin period (1266-1446). The inclination of the Angevin rulers to recruit foreign artists for their projects, and indeed the funerary monuments themselves, served as models for centuries after Angevin rule. In particular, the Carafa family, a powerful member of Naples’ nobility, adopted styles and design elements from the monuments of the Angevins for their own tombs while working during the later period of Aragonese rule (1442-1501).
Through an analysis of the tombs of Malizia, Diomede, Francesco, and Cardinal Oliviero Carafa, it is clear that all of the tombs are interconnected through a network of patrons and artists, who were linked by a web of common artistic concepts. Northern-born artists who were frequently employed by the royal house designed and built these four Carafa monuments. A system of visual connections of foreign styles and design led contemporary Neapolitan viewers to connect the power of the Carafa family to their relationship with the monarchy. By utilizing funerary monuments to suggest their connection to the kings of southern Italy, the Carafas not only committed themselves to the power and prosperity of the ruling house in the eyes of contemporary viewers, but also in the eyes of those who would view their tombs centuries afterward.
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Hamel, Carmen Marie, "The funerary monuments of the Carafa family: self-commemoration and ecclesiastic influence in early-Renaissance Naples" (2014). LSU Master's Theses. 2767.