The XIX Summer School "Francesco Turco" will be held at the Monumental Complex of St. Chiara, Naples, Italy.
The Monumental Complex of St. Chiara, including the Church, the Monastery and the Convent, had been raised since 1310 to 1328 by the will of the King Roberto d’Angiò and his wife Sancia of Majorca. The sovereigns, both devoted to St. Francis of Assisi and St. Chiara, wanted to build a Franciscan citadel that housed in the Convent the Clarisses and in the contiguous Monastery the Friars Minor. The Church, central nucleus of the whole complex, rose with the title of Saint Host or Sacred Body of Christ, dedication suggested by the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena, happened in 1264; the denomination changed immediately in Santa Chiara, probably for the extraordinary number of Clarisses introduces in the Convent.
The construction of the monumental complex of S. Claire began in 1310, at the will of King Robert of Anjou and his second wife Sancha of Majorca.
The proceeding works were conducted under the direction of Gagliardo Primario and Lionardo di Vito. In 1340 the church was open for worship.
The Franciscan citadel was set up by erecting two convents contiguous but separated from each other: one for women, to accept the Clarisses, and the other for men, to host the Franciscan Friars Minor.
The church is now in its original Gothic style, with a facade by a large peak, in which the ancient pierced rose window is nestled, with pronaos surrounded by ogival archs and the inside with a single aisle, on which are opened ten chapels per side. Coverage is a truss.
Behind the altar is the Chorus of Clarisses, which composes of three naves. On one wall fragments of a fresco depicting the Crucifixion are well visible in which it’s possible to recognize Giotto’s style, called upon decorating the walls of the church in 1326.
Funerary monuments, located in the presbytery, were created by sculptors of the fourteenth century. These sculptors included Tino Camaino , who worked at the tombs of Carlo di Calabria and Mary of Valois, and brothers Bertini, creators of the tomb of Roberto d 'Anjou.
In 1742 the church underwent changes at the hand of the architect D.A. Vaccaro. Pompous coatings gave the complex a baroque aspect: the inside was covered with polychrome marbles, stuccoes and gilded frames; the trusses roof was hidden behind a vault painted by great artists of the time, such as F. de Mura, S. Conca, G. Bonito and P. de Maio; GB Massotti was responsible for the high altar, while the marble floor was designed by F. Fuga.
The Majolica Cloister
Over the centuries, the cloister has undergone various transformations. The most important was performed by D.A. Vaccaro between 1739 and 1742, during the abbess of Sister Ippolita Carmignano.
The fourteenth century structure, made of 66 ogival archs leaning on 72 pillars in piperno, remained unchanged. In contrast, the garden was completely transformed.
Vaccaro constructed two paths which, intersecting, divided the garden into four areas. Lining the perimeter are 66 octagonal pillars, coated with majolica ceramic floral decoration, attributed to Donato and Giuseppe Massa.
The effect of the decorations blends the polychromatics of the cloister with all of the architectural and natural surrounding elements. The majolica pillars are linked to one and other by benches which are as well coated with majolica ceramic, depicting scenes from everyday life from that period.
The walls of the four sides of the Cloister are entirely covered with seventeenth century frescoes , depicting saints, allegories and scenes of the Old Testament.
Maria Cristina Hall: From the eighteenth-century Monastery’s entry, crossing the stately Atrium, you can reach Maria Cristina hall. It was so denominated in honor of the Venerable Queen Maria Cristina of Savoia - buried in the church of S. Chiara - because in the 1936, on the occasion of the first centenary of her death, there was prepared an exhibition of her heirlooms. The hall is a rectangular room, covered by an attic in cement that reproduces the ancient wooden elements. The right wall is characterized by the presence of a series of monofore with round arc, through which it is possible to admire the majolica Cloister. In the smaller sides of the hall, there are two fourteenth-century frescos, both representing the Crucifixion. The first one is attributable to a Florentine painter known as the "Giotto's Relative", while the second one - a fresco detached by another wall of the Monastery - has been realized by a painter next to the school of Giotto. This last fresco is different from the other one because to the feet of the Cross, besides the Madonna and St. Giovanni, are represented St. Francis and St. Chiara. It is supposed that in the pass the hall was a place of job of the Clarisses. From 1943 to 1953, it was destined to the cult instead of the impracticable Church.
Crucifix Hall: The hall is a rectangular room, recently restored. It is embellished by a fourteenth-century fresco representing the Crucifix, from which it derives its own name. In the past this place was characterized by the presence of a double line of rectangular pillars, demolished during the restoration after the second world war.
Thermal Hall: The Thermal hall is so denominated for its proximity to the thermal building of Roman age, come to the light after the works of restoration after the second world war. The only rectangular hall is broken, on the bottom, from the presence of a small construction of medieval age.