La Cappella Palatina a Palermo

Front cover image

Edited by Salvatore Settis & Beat Brenk, Photographs by G. Chiaromonte, D. De Lonti, S. E. Di Miceli & J. Gallegra

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4 vols, hardback, slipcase
Franco Cosimo Panini Editore
Territory: World excluding Italy and Australasia
Size: 310 mm x 240 mm
Pages: 1,300
Illustrations: 1,333 colour, 200 b&w
Name of series: Mirabilia Italiae (Volume XVII)

RRP £850.00

  • A unique architectural and artistic masterpiece completely illustrated in colour for the first time with more than 1300 photographs
  • The most complete monograph on this monument ever published and the first documentation of the Palatine Chapel after its recent restoration

The Palatine Chapel is the Royal Chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily situated at the centre of the Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo. The chapel was commissioned by Roger II of Sicily in 1132 and it took eight years to build and many more to decorate with mosaics and fine art. The chapel combines harmoniously a variety of styles: the Norman architecture and door decor, the Arabic arches and scripts adorning the roof, the Byzantine dome and mosaics. The mosaics of the Palatine Chapel are of unparalleled elegance as concerns elongated proportions and streaming draperies of figures. Other remarkable features of the chapel include the Carolingian throne, a low stage for royal receptions, and a balcony which allowed the king to view religious processions from above. In addition, the arabic paintings of the ceiling (called muqarnas) are spectacular. The hundreds of facets were painted, notably with many purely ornamental vegetal and zoomorphic designs but also with scenes of daily life and many subjects that have not yet been explained. Stylistically influenced by Iraqi 'Abbasid art, these paintings are innovative in their more spatially aware representation of personages and of animals.

Paolo Delogu: The History of the Monument; Beat Brenk: The Meaning of the Palatine Chapel; Fabrizio Agnello: The Reliefs; William Tronzo: The Architecture; Francesco Gandolfo: The Sculpture; Jeremy Johns: The Muqarnas; Maria Giulia Aurigemma: Past Restorations; Giuseppe Basile: Recent Restorations; Thomas Dittelbach: The Crypt; Patrizio Pensabene: Columns and Capitals; Francesco Gandolfo: The Candelabrum, the Pulpit, the Transennas, the Holy Water Stoup, the Floor; Antonio Iacobini: The Bronze and Wooden Doors; Stefano Riccioni: The Greek and Latin Inscriptions; Beat Brenk, Herbert Kessler, Gerhard Wolf: The Mosaics; Jeremy Johns: The Ceiling.

Text in Italian.

Salvatore Settis, Editor of the Series Mirabilia Italiæ, former Director of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, is at present the leading Art Historians of Italy.

Beat Brenk, professor of Medieval Art at the Rome University "La Sapienza", is one of the leading Art Historian in the world.