PhD Topic outline:
Art and Architectural Decoration In Italy from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Century and its Relationship with Islamic and Byzantine Art and Culture
My research project is focussed on exploring artistic responses to imported objects and cross-cultural relationships between Southern Italy, Byzantium and the Muslim territories of the Mediterranean between the tenth and thirteenth-century. Primarily looking ecclesiastical decoration and portable objects originating from the Campania, my thesis examines the impact of luxury imported objects (silk textiles, ivories and ceramic bacini) and ways in which these objects affect local artistic production, or are reused and recreated in different media. By examining artistic responses over this time-span, my research explores the role of trade, the Norman conquest, the powerful influence of the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino and the advent of the Crusades on art and artistic production in Southern Italy.