Italy and Cyprus : cross-currents in visual culture (thirteenth and fourteenth centuries)
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This thesis sets out to probe the complex artistic contacts between Italy and Cyprus in the visual arts during the High and Late Middle Ages. The Introduction provides a critical review of the subject. Chapter I maps out the various types of links (with respect to trade, religion, warfare, art, culture) between Italy and Cyprus in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Chapters II and III examine the multifaceted artistic negotiations between southern Italy (mainly Apulia) and Cyprus in the thirteenth century, by closely examining a cluster of frescoes and panel paintings. Through a set of historical, cultural and artistic (stylistic and iconographic) approaches, these chapters aim to supersede the somewhat limited style-oriented analyses of previous contributions to this area of study. The hitherto unverified and convoluted relations between the two regions are revisited and affirmed within a new conceptual framework. Chapters IV and V investigate fourteenth-century cross-currents as seen in two cases that have formerly occupied a marginal position in discussions of intercultural exchanges between Italy and Cyprus. The first is the transplantation and manifestation of the cult of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Cyprus, and the second, the hybrid series of icons created by Italian painters working on the island. Both cases are appraised as a record of historical realities and not as the by-products of casual encounters. The thesis historicises these contacts and in doing so, contributes to a broader understanding of cultural transmission and convergence in the Medieval Mediterranean.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: Print and electronic copy restricted until 28th October 2020
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations