MARTYR (THE DUCHESS OF AMALFI)
13″x 13″, silver gelatin print with cut paper overlay, in collaboration with Melora Kuhn
Martyr (The Duchess of Amalfi) references the love story of the granddaughter of King Ferrante I of Naples, Giovanna D’Arogona (1477 – 1510).
Giovanna D’Arogona was married very young to the Duke of Amalfi, Alfonso Todeschini Piccolomini.
By age 20 she was widowed and the mother two. Her brothers sent her an administration to help run the Duchy, which the Duke had run into financial ruin. She brought the Duchy back to success and in the process fell in love with her steward, Antonio Bologna. They married and had two children together, as secretly as possible due to the class disparity and her position as a ruling Duchess, and mother to a future Duke.
When the story got out, it caused a scandal, one which her brothers would not tolerate tainting their family name. They captured her and her children, locked them in a tower (the Torre dello Ziro pictured in Martyr) and subsequently strangled them in 1510. The brothers then hired an assassin, who succeeded in stabbing Bologna to death in an ambush on the road to Rome.