Campania : Overview


Southern Italy was one of the first places to be swept by the Black Death from December of 1347 through June of 1348. From here and several nearby locations, the plague radiated outwards to cover all of Europe within two years. Prior to this devastating outbreak, the dead were treated with respect and bodies were properly buried in caskets and single graves. Unfortunately, by the end of the plague, there were so many bodies that cities had to make large burial pits to throw bodies into. These areas would often surround infected towns as people tried to keep infected bodies away from the rest of the population as much as possible. The close-knit community of Naples let the disease spread quickly, though, so this picturesque area soon turned foul.

At the end of the 13th-century, the Angevin Kingdom of Naples was split into two due to the advent of the Sicilian Vespers; this divided the kingdom into Sicily and Southern Italy. Pope Boniface VIII crowned Frederick III as king of the Isle of Sicily and Charles II as king of Naples. Naples’ importance grew despite the division of power, which attracted merchants, bankers, as well as some of the most significant Renaissance artists to this region. Some artists include Boccaccio, Giotto and Petrarch. They all had profound influences on the imagery and art produced. People used art to deal with their experiences with the Black Death and this continued into the 15th century.