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    Venosa, Acerenza and 'Norman' architecture in southern Italy

    Bacile, R. and Mcneill, John and Vernon, Clare (2022) Venosa, Acerenza and 'Norman' architecture in southern Italy. Arte Medievale , ISSN 0393-7267. (Submitted)

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    The following paper considers two buildings in southern Italy; the cathedral of Acerenza, and the unfinished church (l’incompiuta) laid out behind the apse of the earlier late Antique basilica at Venosa. Both churches are in the modern region of Basilicata (ancient Lucania) and were begun under Norman patronage to a virtually identical plan. That plan, an apse ambulatory with three radiating chapels, is so unusual in southern Italy that a variety of non-Italian sources have been proposed, for the most part consisting of lists of 11th-century buildings with apse ambulatories in France. It will be argued here that there is nothing ‘generalised’ in the realisation of this plan, but that its detailing, in particular the wide spacing of the apse piers and the method of receiving pairs of transverse arches on their aisle side faces, indicate the churches share a common Norman or Anglo-Norman model. The sculpture has elicited less comment, but despite the capitals having been carved by quite different workshops, both similarly point to an awareness of Norman carving even if the sculptors may have been southern Italian. The paper is divided into four sections, dealing respectively with the architecture, sculpture, documentary history and European context.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Clare Vernon
    Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2021 08:55
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:11


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