SIMONE MARTINI’S ST. LOUIS OF TOULOUSE AND ITS CULTURAL CONTEXT
Scotti, Suzette Denise
MA Thesis, Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, August (2009)
This thesis provides a cultural and historical context for Simone Martini’s painting, St. Louis of Toulouse Crowning Robert of Naples, a landmark of Early Renaissance Sienese art. It offers a detailed analysis of the painting’s style, themes, and unusual iconography based on an examination of the political and religious climate of early fourteenth-century Angevin Naples. In particular, it investigates the motives of Robert of Naples, the probable patron, in commissioning the work. While ostensibly intended to commemorate his brother Louis of Toulouse on the occasion of his sanctification in 1317, the painting nevertheless served Robert’s own political agenda: the validation of his much disputed claim to the Neapolitan throne. This goal was accomplished through a complex iconographical program which emphasized the King’s exalted lineage, in particular his dynastic connections to Hungarian and French royal saints. The painting exploited the belief in beata stirps, inherited sanctity, to imply that Robert was not only the legitimate ruler but, having inherited his ancestors’ virtues, also an enlightened one.