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Durham e-Theses
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Picturing the Worlds of Mediterranean Painting:
The Kingdom of Aragon and its Cultural Mobility

ARMSTRONG-BASCOMBE, APRIL (2024) Picturing the Worlds of Mediterranean Painting:
The Kingdom of Aragon and its Cultural Mobility.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 20 May 2025.


This thesis explores the cultural mobility of the medieval Mediterranean through the Kingdom of Aragon’s religious paintings. In the fourteenth century, Aragon presided over an enormous portion of the Western Mediterranean. The dynastic union between the Houses of Aragon and Barcelona in 1150 provided its rulers with abundant access to Catalonia’s Mediterranean ports. The later absorption of the Balearic Islands, Sicily, Sardinia, Montpellier, Perpignan, Marseilles, and the Duchy of Athens into the Kingdom of Aragon solidified its mercantile identity and its significant influence on Mediterranean trade. Aragon’s mobility in the medieval Mediterranean is revealed in its material culture. Altarpieces, illuminated manuscripts, embroidered textiles, and portable panel paintings were shipped into its ports from Avignon, Florence, Siena, Genoa, and Byzantium. These goods acted as deposits of visual culture and had an immediate and long-lasting influence on local painters. However, this process of exchange was dynamic. Imported iconographies such as the Virgin of Humility and the Maestà were innovated on and adapted to complement the unique concerns of indigenous patrons. This thesis will investigate specific instances of cultural contact in the formation of Aragon’s painted traditions. This includes an examination of the principal agents who disseminated visual ideas, such as the mendicants (the Franciscan Order), the circulation of devotional literatures, and the role of patronage as an energetic act. The outcome is a systematic reassessment of the materiality of Aragon’s religious culture in the context of its Mediterranean mobility.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Kingdom of Aragon, Mediterranean Cultural Mobility, Exchange, Fourteenth-Century, Devotional Culture, artistic networks, Christian materiality.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2024
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:21 May 2024 12:43

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