Naples’ Basilica di Santa Chiara

The Basilica di Santa Chiara in Naples is a regal church. Not only for its elegance but also for the purpose of its construction: to house the bodies of the royal descendants of the Angiovin King, Roberto I, called “il Saggio” (“the Wise”). The Angiovin coat-of-arms incised in marble greets visitors walking up the main nave. In the early 14th century, Roberto became king after his brother, Saint Louis of Toulouse, a Franciscan saint, renounced the throne to enter the religious life.

The brothers are depicted in the most famous work surviving from the Angiovin court of Naples housed in the city’s Museo di Capodimonte. It is a ten-foot altarpiece by Simone Martini (1317-1319) in which Saint Louis wears a silver miter, richly-decorated gloves and


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