Castel Nuovo (Aragonese and later viceregal renovations to original Angevin fortress and residence)

Castelnuovo shows a big eclecticism in materials as in style. The Castle belonged to different ruling families (Angiovese, Aragon, Bourbons) and was rebuilt over the years. It became a symbol of richness, power and resilience; still, it’s mainly role was that of a fortress to defend the city. Castelnuovo became a residence of kings, and of prisoners; as well as a workplace for artisans, and lawyers. 

We see Castelnuovo from a cultural and from a material distance. Fires, constructions and destructions have lead to a restoration that allows us to see the 20th century Neapolitan interest in Castelnuovo.

An iconographic analisis can be useful for a better understanding on the political aims as well as the spiritual concerns of the Aragonese kings.

I wanted to call for a discussion on Castelnuovo’s architecture in two directions:

The first, on the communication and reception of motives in the development of the all’antica style, based on a few opinions on the probable iconographic source of the Triumphal Arch at the entrance. The second, about the role the collaboration between patrons, humanists and artists had in the development of architectue and political projects.

The group’s comments also addressed the import of Catalan style to Naples and the political implications of its reception, having understood the role the Seggi had in the city affairs.

On the other hand, some discussion was made upon two of Alfonso’s interest: the first in displaying busts of Spanish Roman emperors like Trajan and Hadrian as an attempt to legitimize his ruling; and that of his employment of the generic term Rex hispanus siculus italicus.