Mosaics of Monreale Cathedral

Source: Willem Vandenameele

William II 's goal was to create an unprecedented artistic complex that could show the grandeur of the city during Norman rule.

To this end, between the 12th and mid-13th centuries, he had much of the cathedral covered with Byzantine school mosaics with a gold background by partly local craftsmen trained in the Byzantine school. The mosaics covering the interior of the cathedral have new stylistic and decorative features compared to the past.

They mainly represent (at least in the walls of the choir and nave) the stories of the Old and New Testaments. These images are then joined by other mosaic decorations representing a hieratic series of angels, saints and prophets . By tracing the long axis of the main nave of the church it is possible to identify the scenes of creation which begin at the eastern end of the right wall with the episodes related to the earthly paradise and then end with the episode of Jacob 's battle with the angel in the left eastern extremity.

The life of Christ is displayed in the transept . In addition to the basic scheme of the cathedral's decorative organization, both the main nave and the minor naves have additional representations , always made with mosaics.


Source: Willem Vandenameele - Wikipedia

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