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.

Arabic scribe?







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See also The sleeping soldiers at the Resurrection, Pulpit of William, Cagliari Cathedral, Italy, 1159-1162
Carved Column Capitals in the Cloister of Monreale Cathedral near Palermo in Sicily, Italy, 1174 to 1182 AD
Sicilians & Germans in the Liber ad honorem Augusti by Pietro da Eboli, c.1197