Anjou, Robert d'

(1277-1343)
   Robert D'Anjou was the son of Charles II D'Anjou, king of Naples and Sicily, and Mary of Hungary. As a child, he and his brothers were exchanged for his father when captured by Alfonso III of Aragon in 1288 during a naval battle. Seven years of negotiation finally earned the children's release and in 1295, when Robert's brother Charles Martel died, Robert became the heir to the throne of Sicily. He lost the territory when local barons rejected him in favor of Frederick III of Aragon. In 1309, Robert's father died and he was crowned king of Naples. Clement V approved his appointment and in 1311 made him papal vicar of the Romagna to resist Emperor Henry VII's invasion. In 1312, Robert was successful in impeding Henry's occupation of Rome and, in the following year, he became the leader of the Guelf party in Florence against the emperor. Also known as Robert the Wise, D'Anjou was a major patron of the arts, his learned nature recorded by both Boccaccio and Petrarch. It was Robert who called Simone Martini to Naples to paint the Altarpiece of St. Louis of Toulouse (1317; Naples, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte); the king's brother Louis had renounced the throne of Naples, had become a Franciscan, had died in 1297, and was canonized in 1317. Chronicles of the day place Giotto in the king's court from 1328 to 1334, rendering paintings for the royal residence at Castel Nuovo (lost). The Tomb of Mary of Hungary (1325), for Robert's mother, by Gagliardo Primario and Tino da Camaino at Santa Maria Donnaregina, Naples, and Robert's own tomb (beg. c. 1343) by Pacio and Giovanni Bertini at Santa Chiara in the same city were also the result of his patronage.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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