The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database

The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database image

Last updated: 8/7/23

The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database: A Visual Resource of Historical Sites c. 1100 - c. 1450 was created to collect, host and display images made by travelers, mapmakers, historians, architects and artists of medieval and early modern monuments and cities of Southern Italy. It includes prints, drawings, ground plans and elevations, paintings, photographs, and any other type of image of sites from roughly 1100 to 1450. 

Historic views of southern Italian buildings are important historical documents because this geographical area has been deeply affected by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and World War II bombardment. In addition, urban renewal projects (such as the Risanamento in Naples) and nineteenth- and twentieth-century restorations have often been driven by polemical or ideological interests, sometimes removing entire monuments or destroying features of interior decoration, such as pulpits, tombs, and other church furniture. Above all, rapid and often uncontrolled urban expansion and industrialization in the post-World War II period has transformed the profiles of southern cities, often submerging significant monuments within a sea of modern buildings and development, a process that obscures the original importance of these sites as markers of political, social, and religious authority.

The database aims to enhance knowledge of Southern Italy, the historic Kingdom of Sicily, and to serve as an aid in study and research, as well as understanding the many changes to buildings and cities over time. The database is as inclusive as possible within the chronological parameters of c.1000-c.1450. It includes images of cities and monuments, and of interior furnishings, such as tombs, altars, mosaics, ceilings, pavements and frescoes. It is not intended to provide comprehensive historical information on sites, artists, or images. It is designed simply as a repository of visual materials and conduit to further research.

The image sources include public and private collections, museums, libraries and archives, print books, and online resources. This project expands as new images are found and cataloged. These images range in date from the late Middle Ages through the mid-twentieth century. 

The Medieval Kingdom of Sicily Image Database: A Visual Resource of Historical Sites c. 1100 - c. 1450 is hosted by Trinity Technology Services (TTS) at Duke University. The current project directors are Caroline Bruzelius (Duke University) and Paola Vitolo (University of Catania). This content is licensed to you under a CC-BY-NC license.

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