In the southern Italian city of Lucera, the former medieval Muslim settlement turned re-Christianized city in Apulia's fertile Tavoliere plain, a small road just north of the city's impressive early fourteenth-century cathedral is dedicated to an individual integral to the city's late medieval history (Figures 1 and 2).1 That person, a Frenchman named Pierre d'Angicourt, the “prothomagister et provisor operum curie” (headmaster and supervisor of the court's works) under the Angevin king of Naples Charles I (1266–85) and still active at royal construction sites under the successor king Charles II (1285–1309), is identified by a street sign as the cathedral's “architect,” a title bestowed on Pierre for his involvement in nearly a dozen other southern Italian constructions roughly contemporary to Lucera's cathedral.
The erection of this sign, a local initiative, speaks to wider popular and scholarly attitudes about the Frenchman. Since the nineteenth century, historians of multiple disciplines have frequently, although imprecisely, identified Pierre as an architect, wavering between the term's more medieval usage signifying a mason and its modern connotation of a theory-based designer.2 This imprecision has affected the understanding not only of Pierre and individuals like him at Angevin construction sites but also of the buildings with which he and others have been credited, especially in regard to questions of formal and structural agency, building types, and reception. Recent scholarship has identified Angevin architecture in southern Italy—particularly after King Charles I's attempts to build “French Gothic” monuments at the Cistercian abbeys of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Abruzzo and Santa Maria di Realvalle south of Naples—as sedate, austere, and vernacular, a far cry from the architecture of Paris.3 Explanations for the shift in style are numerous. According to Caroline Bruzelius, one of the few scholars of the past forty years to have produced sustained, critical work on Angevin architecture, the change to an emphasis on local building styles (e.g., native Apulian styles constructed in Apulia, Abruzzan in Abruzzo) resulted from social, economic, and political factors. Bruzelius argues that the austere forms resulted from a host of factors, including the influence of a new mendicant spirituality; a lack of both skilled workers and high-quality building materials, which made reproducing French Gothic impossible; a dismal economic situation; and an increased attempt by the Angevin king Charles II to ingratiate himself with his subjects.4 With the exception of material and labor realities, however, these explanations assume inherently that the two Angevin kings' buildings contained stylistic-symbolic plans from inception and that those plans were reproducible by “architects” like Pierre.
In this article I reexamine the use of the term architect for Pierre and its implications. I reconsider Angevin chancellery diplomas, Pierre's career and steady social ascent, the administrative class to which he belonged, the structure of Angevin construction sites, and the use of words like magister. I argue that Pierre's duties at construction sites were more administrative and bureaucratic in nature than concerned with design or construction. Pierre was the most cited, but certainly not the only, Angevin bureaucrat who organized and directed royal building sites. In this article I question the manufacture of Pierre as “architect” and reveal how this identification has affected readings of Angevin buildings in general, not only those where the Frenchman's work has been documented. Understanding Pierre's true role at royal construction sites proves instrumental for understanding the specific aims the Angevin kings might have expressed through architecture. In short, I argue that aesthetic outcomes at the Angevin sites resulted from the process of construction rather than from predetermined and whole “plans.” This article contributes to a growing body of studies that examine medieval buildings through their construction sites, particularly in urban or highly centralized regions, in contrast with viewing these buildings exclusively from the perspectives of single great patrons or artists.5
A Brief Overview of Angevin Building Campaigns and the Chancellery Documents
In 1266 Charles I of Anjou became king of Naples.6 Following his defeat of the Hohenstaufen ruler Manfred at the Battle of Benevento, Charles, the youngest brother of Louis IX of France, inherited a kingdom that comprised all of mainland southern Italy, parts of what is now southern and eastern Lazio, and until 1282 the island of Sicily.7 Arguably medieval Europe's first state, the kingdom had been founded in 1130 by the Norman king Roger II. After the Normans, the kingdom's political and economic consolidation continued under the Hohenstaufen emperor Frederick II (reign 1198–1250) and culminated aggressively under the rule of Charles I; his heir, Charles II; and the third Angevin king, Robert of Anjou (1309–43). The number of architectural works the Angevin kings ordered attests to their efforts at state building. Royal building projects were undertaken throughout the kingdom. From approximately 1270 through the first quarter of the fourteenth century, Angevin projects included the major redevelopment or construction ex novo of cities, including Naples, the kingdom's new capital, and L'Aquila in Abruzzo; religious foundations, including the Cistercian monasteries Santa Maria di Realvalle and Santa Maria della Vittoria; and more than 175 castles, fortresses, palaces, and towers.
Much of this building activity was recorded in the Angevin chancellery registers, which are the source for nearly all documented evidence of Pierre d'Angicourt's career and Angevin construction projects.8 Among the earliest and most extensive collections of late medieval royal documents in Europe, the registers contain copies of the letters, diplomas, and mandates issued by and in the names of the Angevin kings. The documents devoted to royal construction provide vivid and consistent accounts of the structure of Angevin building sites.
Art historian Arthur Haseloff, Bruzelius, and archaeologist Carola Small, among others, have commented on the character of the chancellery building documents.9 Five fundamental features emerge from their commentary. First, the diplomas present only the view of the patron. They are not dialogues; rather, they are orders provided in the voice of the king to the building site. Some of the documents record the king's reactions to events on the ground, however, and in doing so offer glimpses into the dynamics among worker, building administrator, and patron. Second, the orders provide more detail in regard to construction operations than most surviving late medieval building documents from elsewhere. Many texts detail the dimensions of walls, the amounts of supplies needed and their acceptable cost, the payment of skilled and unskilled workers as well as building administrators, the transport of materials, and the locations where construction funds should be procured. The level of micromanagement evident in the documents has led some scholars to argue that the Angevin kings “designed” many royal buildings—an issue that will be addressed later. Third, Charles I in particular was an extremely impatient patron. To increase workers' and administrators' output, he issued threats of punitive damages for late or unsatisfactory work. Some skilled and unskilled workers were conscripted and threatened with chains should they leave the work site.10 Fourth, the documents provide the names, ranks, and origins of many building administrators and even some skilled workers. These details especially are important for deciphering Pierre d'Angicourt's role as “headmaster of the court's works” in relation to others named in the diplomas. Fifth, the documents overwhelmingly address castles, fortifications, and towers under Charles I, but surviving documents for Charles I's two Cistercian abbeys (ca. 1274–1284) as well as the Lucera cathedral (1300–1317), begun by the king's heir, Charles II, and completed by Charles II's heir, Robert of Anjou, reveal that Charles I's successors institutionalized his approach to building.11 The Angevin kings approached the construction of castles and churches in a similar manner and employed the same industrial and administrative organization from the reign of Charles I well into the reign of Charles II. Moreover, building projects during both kings' reigns operated within a larger bureaucratic structure that involved other functionaries of the realm, including provincial justiciars, bailiffs, and city captains, who through their own juridical and administrative mandates collected men, materials, and money for building sites. This insight is important because it demonstrates that any discussion of Angevin architecture, especially one examining aesthetic motivations or rhetorical messages, must analyze castle building and church building together.
Pierre d'Angicourt and Angevin Construction
Since the nineteenth century, the literature on Pierre d'Angicourt has been marked by a series of misidentifications regarding the Frenchman's role at Angevin construction sites. Examining the chancellery documents, art historian Heinrich Wilhelm Schulz identified Pierre as an “engineer.”12 A series of writers from the second half of the nineteenth century onward have argued that he began his career as a stonecutter or quarryman before quickly rising through the ranks of Angevin building administration.13 In regard to Lucera, Pierre has been identified as the architect of that city's cathedral based on an Angevin diploma from 1304 charging the Frenchman with assessing the value of houses (domus) destroyed during the cathedral's construction.14 Moreover, that document, coupled with the similarity between Lucera's cathedral and the plan for the cathedral in Naples (begun 1294), led archaeologist François Lenormant to assign Pierre authorship of that building as well.15 In addition, in 1894 the Frenchman Camille Enlart argued that Pierre was the architect of both Lucera's cathedral and the Magdalen shrine at Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume in Provence, the most “Gothic” of all the churches built under the orders of the Angevin kings.16 He cited as evidence a 1295 Angevin diploma that stated an individual named Petrus Gallicus from Naples was charged with overseeing the work site.17
Most of these conclusions remain unchallenged in the scholarship. A close reexamination of the chancellery documents, however, paints a different picture of Pierre's career trajectory. Pierre arrived in the Kingdom of Naples from northern France, most likely Picardy. Through its connections to southern Italy via the Capetian line, this area of the French realm served as the homeland for numerous individuals who would become clerks, administrators, and other officials within the kingdom's burgeoning court and bureaucracy. In addition to the most prominent member of this group, Robert II, the Count of Artois and nephew of Charles I, who also served as regent of the Kingdom of Naples from 1285 to 1289, surviving documents reveal that the area provided dozens of administrators and courtiers for the Angevin kings. These included two other building administrators with whom Pierre would work at Castel Nuovo in Naples, Pierre de Chaule and Palmerius d'Arras, and at least one other individual named Pierre d'Angicourt, who, according to Angevin diplomas, died around 1273.18
The Pierre under consideration here first enters the Angevin building documents in September 1269, when surviving diplomas report that a “magister Petrus de Angicuria” requested stone, lime, and pack animals for work on the castle housed inside Lucera's fortress (Figure 3).19 In one way or another, Pierre would remain connected to the city of Lucera through building management and other administrative duties for nearly all of his four decades in the Angevin registers.
The Frenchman remained attached specifically to construction activities at Lucera's fortress through 1282. He also accepted responsibility elsewhere, however, particularly along the Adriatic coast of Apulia (Figure 4). By 1271 Pierre was named provost for the repair of castles (prepositus reparatori castrorum) at Canosa castle and by 1276 provost (prepositus) and headmaster (prothomagister) at the castle of Bari.20 The following year he was mentioned with the same titles at royal construction projects in Barletta, Mola di Bari, Villanova, Brindisi, and Melfi in Basilicata.21 In 1278 Pierre directed proceedings at the walls and fortress of the port Manfredonia and would continue to work at the site intermittently through 1282.22 In 1278 he also was named officially in the diplomas “headmaster and supervisor of the court's works.” The new position necessitated extensive travel between building sites, and, as a result, the king provided him with a salary of three tarì per day plus a security detail of four mounted soldiers.23 His appointment also was accompanied by the additional titles of familiaris and fideles to consecrate his personal and intimate relationship with the king.24 By 1279 Pierre was working with two other Frenchmen, the aforementioned Palmerius and Pierre de Chaule, both also named familiares, at the king's main residence, Castel Nuovo in Naples.25 The following year Pierre d'Angicourt and Pierre de Chaule worked on the construction of a castle in the Angevin new town Leonessa along the kingdom's northern frontier.26
After 1282 Pierre disappears in large part from the building documents. He does not, however, leave the Angevin diplomas altogether. Instead, for the next two decades the Frenchman moves in and out of a number of roles within Angevin administration, all the while steadily rising in social status while gaining titles including valet (vallectus) and knight (miles).27 In fact, his confirmation of entry into the Angevin household by the early 1280s led the eminent art historian Émile Bertaux to identify the Frenchman as a “chevalier et feudataire” (knight and feudal lord) who through his social position became an “architect.”28 Returning to his career, in 1284 Pierre facilitated the transfer from Lucera to Sicily of four siege machines and one hundred Muslim soldiers to guard and service those machines in the fight against rebellion on the island.29 In 1291 he was entrusted with collecting penalties of 25 ounces of gold from all officials or nobles in the southwestern areas of the kingdom who did not contribute their quotas of soldiers to quash a rebellion at Pantuliano, south of Naples.30 By 1300 Pierre was listed as the castellan, or governor, at Castel dell'Ovo in Naples.31 Between 1301 and 1308 the Frenchman returned to working in building administration. This included his 1304 cameo at the construction of Lucera's cathedral and his occasional appearances at the Angevin-funded renovations to the Cathedral of Altamura, southwest of Bari, from 1301 to 1308 (Figure 5).32 After Altamura, Pierre's final moments in the Angevin diplomas are silent regarding his current duties to the Angevin king, but they are valuable nevertheless for revealing the substantial wealth and security the Frenchman had earned while operating within the Angevin administrative framework. In 1310 Charles, the Duke of Calabria and son of the third Angevin king, Robert, ordered the return to Pierre of a house in the Adriatic port of Barletta as well as a number of other goods that had been wrongly seized from the Frenchman.33 Finally, in 1313, presumably after his death, Pierre's sons petitioned the Angevin king to recover 400 ounces of gold that the familiaris had deposited with the Barletta branch of the Florentine Lamberteschi merchants.34 From there, the trail marking Pierre's four decades in service to the Angevin kings goes cold.
Prepositus, Prothomagister, and the Organization of Angevin Building Sites
Studies of Angevin architecture tend to use the terms found in the diplomas—expensor, prepositus, prothomagister, and magister—interchangeably to describe perceived architects within the Angevin realm. In addition, these studies often use the term architect rather imprecisely, meaning something between the anachronistic modern theory-based designer and the medieval mason.35 A reexamination of the building documents reveals, however, that they did not use any of these terms to describe an architect in either sense. Moreover, only the first two titles, expensor and prepositus, denoted job descriptions, and neither was used exclusively within the context of building construction. Rather, these somewhat broad titles were employed in documents to describe individuals who performed a number of bureaucratic roles, not only during Angevin and earlier Hohenstaufen rule but also in medieval administrations in general. At Angevin building sites as elsewhere, the paymaster, or expensor, was charged with managing funds for building projects. He received funds from multiple sources, usually within a particular Angevin province, and then dispensed those funds for the duration of the building project.36 In Angevin building documents the title of provost, or prepositus (a term used in Latin literate lands since imperial Rome to denote the overseer of any but no particular administrative body), denoted the royal manager of an Angevin construction site, and in some earlier occasions the overseer of a Hohenstaufen building site.37 Under the Angevins the provost directed builders and workers on- and off-site, procured materials, and served as the ultimate quality control. As the project's manager, the provost at times was the most direct line of communication to the king. As noted earlier, most Angevin building documents that mention Pierre d'Angicourt identify the Frenchman with this title.
The other titles, magister and prothomagister, represented ranks or honorifics and generally received modifiers. In Angevin texts, the terms in and of themselves did not signify any particular vocations. One was a master of or because of something. The Angevin building documents referred to individuals as “masters” of the law and of chapels, as masters of building and carpentry, stonecutting, glass windows, and moving materials, and as masters of works, among others.38 The early Angevin-era construction of the chapel at San Lorenzo in Pantano near Foggia in Apulia marks one of the earliest instances in the building diplomas when the title of master signaled a level of status rather than a profession. In 1269 an individual described as a clerk named Petrus de Bonolio received one cart, four oxen, and ten workers from the bailiffs, judges, magistri iurati, and other officials of Foggia and San Lorenzo for the construction of the chapel. The following year he had gained the title of master of chapel works (magister operis capelle) along with the title of provost (prepositus).39
The title prothomagister, or headmaster, referred to the first master, or the leader of masters. As a result, the provost at a building site sometimes was given the title due to his position as director of construction works, and therefore the director of multiple “masters” involved in the technical aspects of building. As a designation of rank, the title was fluid. Those who directed other experts were prothomagistri, and therefore the individuals given the title depended on the experts present. The fluidity of the rank is clear in the construction documents for Lucera's fortress (ca. 1269–86). Multiple provosts worked at the massive site, and each was responsible for the construction of a portion of the fortress. For part of the construction, Pierre d'Angicourt and another individual named Riccardo da Foggia both were designated headmasters due to their roles as provosts of separate sections of wall.40 However, while Pierre and Riccardo worked on the fortress's walls, another person, Goffrido de Bonguilielmi, was designated provost for all works within the fortress. In the company of the building crews they directed, Pierre and Riccardo were referred to as prothomagistri, but when Pierre and Riccardo were in the company of the provost for all fortress works, Goffrido was named the sole prothomagister.41
The exception to the fluidity was the rank of prothomagister et provisor operum curie. This rank, which the surviving sources show was attained for the first and only time by Pierre d'Angicourt, designated the court's roving provost: the individual who traveled around royal building sites to audit and direct building projects if needed. As such, he was always first among masters and the provost of provosts. A few examples from Pierre's career reflect this power dynamic. The most notable instance dates to 1281, when he complained directly to Charles I that the castellan administering construction in Melfi had concentrated on the wrong parts of the renovation program, neglecting the wall near the new gate and focusing on less urgent projects. The official's negligence had caused the project to go over budget.42
Given their contractual nature, the documents clearly established each individual's role at construction sites. They also established that in most cases Angevin construction provosts, not unlike individuals bearing the title in other medieval contexts, were notaries, jurists, clerks, or other types of literate administrators.43 This shows that the prerequisite for the job was most often, if not always, not building experience but rather managerial skills. Giuliana Vitale, Samantha Kelly, and others have shown that these same individuals formed part of an extensive bureaucratic framework—a framework Jean Dunbabin has argued was far more advanced than other unified kingdoms in Europe—that the Angevin kings employed to administer multiple initiatives within the Regno, from the collection of taxes to the construction of fortresses.44 In turn these individuals were rewarded with titles of nobility, feuds, and stipends, forming, in Kelly's words, a late medieval noblesse de robe.45 Countless individuals followed this route. For example, the courtier Giovanni Pipino of Barletta, originally a notary before becoming an ambassador, served as a financial minister (magister rationalis), the liberator-governor of re-Christianized Lucera, and the Count of Altamura in Apulia. Bartolomeo da Capua, a former jurist, became Charles II's protonotary-logothete, the highest position within the Angevin court during his tenure.46 Both men rose through the ranks of the court, received multiple feuds and titles, and appear to have reached their highest positions through a combination of administrative competence, fervent loyalty, and political astuteness.
The bureaucratic structure of Angevin building projects is articulated most clearly in a construction document for the walls of Manfredonia dated 23 March 1278 (Figure 6).47 Two groups are specified in the royal mandate. The first comprises the builders, each of whom is named along with his respective expertise. The second group consists of the building administrators, all of whom are named and identified as justices, protonotaries, and advocates of the Angevin court.
The document reveals additional significant information in that almost all the individuals listed are identified by their geographic origins. While the project's administrators are shown to have come from places throughout Angevin and Capetian realms, including nearby Foggia and Andria, Amalfi and Salerno on the Tyrrhenian coast, France and the county of Artois, every builder was recruited from a nearby location. The project's carpenters, masons, and builders came from Manfredonia as well as from surrounding cities, including Monte Sant'Angelo, Foggia, San Giovanni Rotondo, Vieste, Andria, and Barletta (Figure 7). The only worker whose surname does not reveal a place of origin was a builder called Rogerio. However, his use of the Greek patronymic Caroiohanne suggests that he hailed from the region around Bari, some 100 kilometers south.48
Taken together, the Manfredonia document and the other diplomas analyzed previously reveal that royal clerks pulled from throughout the kingdom administered the construction of Angevin buildings, and local workers constructed them. As such, Pierre's presence at Lucera and Altamura during the first decade of the fourteenth century now seems in tune with his role for much of the 1270s and 1280s as headmaster and supervisor of the court's works. The single source that links Pierre to Lucera's cathedral states that the Frenchman assessed the value of property needed for construction of the cathedral.49 By this time his career must have slowed, especially in regard to construction management, he may have been elderly, and perhaps he no longer possessed his old title of prothomagister et provisor operum curie, but the job Pierre was charged to do at Lucera was one that required a trusted administrator, as had the jobs he had performed since his first appearance in the documents.
Conclusions and Implications for Further Study
The preceding reexamination of Pierre d'Angicourt's career and the specific language employed in Angevin building diplomas allows me to draw a number of conclusions. First, Pierre was not an architect as we employ and understand that title today. In fact, medievalists should use the term architect with extreme caution because of its modern connotation of a theory-based designer who, as Marvin Trachtenberg has argued recently, builds “outside of time” versus the practice of building “in time” that dominated premodern construction.50 Rather, Pierre was a provost and project manager for Angevin building sites who also, like other members of the emergent Angevin bureaucracy, flowed in and out of numerous administrative positions.51 That Angevin sources divulge the names of administrators and local builders reveals the extent to which construction was bureaucratized under the reigns of both Charles I and Charles II. This in itself was a sign of the kingdom's emergence as a centralized state. Until recently robust Angevin centralization within the Regno has been overlooked due to the prejudices embodied in the “Southern Question,” a sociological, political, and historiographical construct that has portrayed southern Italy as perpetually backward and economically stunted.52 Like other business conducted by the Angevin kings—the collection of taxes, the administration of justice, and the regulation of the economy—bureaucratization reflected the need to manage a wide expanse of territory and people within the technological constraints of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Few regimes or patrons in late medieval Europe were faced with these conditions during building, but when they were they took similar measures. The closest parallels to the bureaucratization of Angevin urban and architectural planning are the bastides of southwest France built between ca. 1200 and ca. 1400, another example of late medieval political and economic consolidation, and the centralization of building administration in England through the clerks of the king's works.53 The first Angevin king, Charles I, may initially have intended to build evocations of France, as has been argued regarding the monasteries Santa Maria di Realvalle and Santa Maria della Vittoria, but his early intentions were never sustainable on the scale at which he and his successors desired to produce buildings.54
The system for construction created by Charles I and sustained under Charles II determined the formal outcomes of their buildings. The chancellery diplomas reveal that at times the Angevin kings outlined their expectations. Charles I especially wrote to builders and provosts stating how many builders should work at a site, how much equipment and material should be procured, what the dimensions of walls should be, where gates should be placed, and other details. Moreover, the travel involved in Pierre's career, along with his ability to order the destruction and rebuilding of unsatisfactory work, suggests that his position afforded him considerable control over buildings. However, the architectural and documentary evidence suggests that the formal and structural outcomes of Angevin buildings resulted from collaboration among individual builders working under the surveillance and approval of royal administrators rather than from any initial grand schemes. The requests made in the Angevin documents provide only sketches of the buildings desired, and phrases such as “in our manner” and “according to our provisions” reveal the limits of nonverbal communication for the initiation and direction of construction projects.55 Moreover, many of the Angevin kings' requests reveal desires beyond the aesthetic. In the 1278 Manfredonia document, Pierre d'Angicourt was reported to have measured “personally” a tower that was to contain the castle's cistern (Figure 8). Measuring the tower before a group of judges, notaries, and clerks who served as witnesses and checks, Pierre provided the dimensions for the cistern, the estimated stones and other materials required, and the number of masons and manual labor needed. After calculating the dimensions and the costs of the materials and workers needed, Pierre reported that the total price of the project was expected to be 86 ounces, 3 tarì, and 3 granì of gold.56 It is clear from the tone of the diploma that Pierre's preoccupation with these details pertained most to his duty to report the anticipated cost and time frame of the project to the king.
This Angevin approach undoubtedly shaped building outcomes, and the system left room for individual workers to leave an imprint on the fabric of a building.57 In sum, the process of construction, more than anything else, resulted in an Angevin preference for local architectural styles. The stonemasons and builders who constructed the buildings relied on their own competence and experience to fill in details.58 In regard to agency, bureaucratization afforded the workers on-site a great deal of freedom to determine the forms of buildings, and some of their “identities” still can be read. For example, the unnamed masons charged with executing the main portal for Lucera's fourteenth-century cathedral were from Apulia, as evidenced by the structure's pronounced gable and sculpted details, which connect it to monuments like the thirteenth-century Cathedral of Bisceglie on the Adriatic coast (Figures 9, 10, and 11). At the Lucera fortress's Torre del Re, a lack of care for obtaining blemish-free wall surfaces allowed dozens of ashlar blocks to be set with masons' marks facing outward (Figures 12 and 13). This oversight, which might have been a means of accounting or perhaps even subversion on the part of workers, reveals that at least twenty different stonecutters formed ashlar blocks for the tower, although their names no longer survive.59 As Michael Davis has noted, Angevin buildings should be viewed as collections of parts rather than as conceptual wholes.60 Methodologically, the number of identifiable agents present compels the historian to study each building site on its own terms.
Previous studies have emphasized the importance of local workers and materials, but my examination of how architectural ideas circulated in Angevin construction reveals that architectural decisions resulted not necessarily from a lack of funds or resources—or even a heightened cultural sensitivity, as scholars have argued in the past—but from the process of bureaucratization under the Angevin kings. This process also explains how Pierre d'Angicourt could be attached to buildings that are vastly different formally and structurally throughout the Kingdom of Naples. As a prepositus, he was tasked with ensuring that the general outlines directed for each building were completed satisfactorily. The important question remains, however, what constituted satisfactory work? Was it solid construction, function, an architecture that bore meaning, aesthetics, or some combination of all these factors?
If we look to an example of Angevin reuse of earlier southern Italian architecture, efficient, solid, and cost-effective construction appears to have constituted satisfactory work. Jill Caskey, who has employed Henri Lefevbre's theory of spatialization and Alexei Lidov's concept of hierotopy to examine the 1296 Angevin appropriation of the Basilica San Nicola in Bari, has shown that Charles II was invested heavily in projecting his French Capetian origins on his buildings (Figure 14). However, he promoted his lineage and his presence not through altering the building architecturally but through the performance of Parisian rituals and liturgies, the donation of sumptuous objects that evoked France and the Capetian line such as the reliquary of the True Cross (Figure 15), and the proliferation of Angevin heraldry above the portals of the Barisan church (Figure 16), conceptually transforming the late eleventh- to early twelfth-century shrine of Saint Nicholas into a southern Italian Sainte-Chapelle.61 This reading, as well as my analysis of Pierre and other individuals who performed similar tasks, reveals that Angevin buildings in southern Italy cannot be read using Richard Krautheimer's or even Robert Branner's “iconographies” of medieval architectural forms, the theoretical tools that have been used in the past.62 Rather, Angevin buildings were flexible and fluid products. They were capable of projecting the Capetian line as effectively as the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, but not through symbolic architectural forms. They did so with their processes of construction, the result of Angevin bureaucratization; their use, including liturgical, paraliturgical, civic, and juridical activities; and their ornament.
Returning to Lucera's street sign, the identification of Pierre as an “architect,” especially in the modern sense used first by many early French art historians who studied Angevin architecture in southern Italy, has led to an understanding of these buildings as conceptually whole.63 As a result, and through their supposedly French parentage, these buildings often have been viewed as provincial offshoots of French Gothic architecture, leading to explanations of their shortcomings in relation to a supposed metropolitan style rather than analyses developed on each building's own terms.64 Integrating the processes of construction into the study of Angevin buildings—a simultaneous “top-down” examination of the state's initiatives and “bottom-up” investigation of the workers, landscapes, and materials employed to execute those initiatives—leads to two major shifts in the consideration of these buildings in southern Italy. The first, related to a top-down examination, is the recognition that these buildings are not only a sign of the Angevin state's presence but also a microcosm of the Angevin state. Both the existence of these monuments and the bureaucratic system employed in the administration of constructing them speak to the consolidation of the Kingdom of Naples under the Angevin kings.65 The second shift, related to the bottom-up perspective, returns southern Italians and southern Italian culture to analysis of medieval architecture in the Angevin south. Examining processes of construction in these ways frees the study of Angevin architecture and the Angevin kingdom from the center–periphery and Southern Question paradigms that have dominated scholarship for more than a century.