Figures from

The Painted Wooden Ceiling of the Palatine Chapel

Cappella Palatina

Palermo, Sicily

The painted wooden ceiling of the Palatine Chapel, erected by Ruggero II immediately after his coronation in 1131 and consecrated in 1140, is the only monumental-scale pictorial cycle from the Fatimid period in the Mediterranean basin to have survived in its entirety. The ceiling, made up of star-shaped polygons, is decorated with lively scenes, painted in a clean, clear style with an undeniable Middle Eastern influence, depicting dancing girls, musicians, gamblers, lions and other animals, horsemen and wrestlers, all combined with geometric and vegetal decorations. The polygons are surrounded by inscriptions of good omens in kufic script. The band between the ceiling and the walls is decorated with muqarnas.
Source: Pier Paolo Racioppi 'Painted wooden ceiling of the Palatine Chapel' in Discover Islamicart Art. Place: Museum With No Frontiers


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Other Illustrations from Sicily or Italy:
Hunter on an 11th century ivory drinking horn
Detail of carved ivory horn or 'oliphant' from Sicily
Frieze over the door of the Church of San Bernadetto, Brindisi, late 11th Century
Ivory casket, Fatimid Sicily or Southern Italy, 11th-12th Centuries
Morgan Casket, Southern Italy, 11th-12th century
Islamic Sicilian Ivory Casket with Horsemen, 12th century
Sicilian ivory pyxis, 12th century
Sicilians & Germans in the Liber ad honorem Augusti by Pietro da Eboli, c.1197
Sicilian Ivory Casket with Hunters, Cappella Palatina, Palermo, 12th or 13th Century
Islamic Sicilian Ivory Casket with Horsemen, Veroli, Italy, c.1200-1225





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