Session 103: The Church in Its Setting: Case Studies
Monday 6 July 2015, 11.15-12.45
|Moderator/Chair:||Paulette Barton, Department of Modern Languages & Classics / Department of History, University of Maine|
|Paper 103-a||'Pilgrim Armature': Transformations in the Architecture of Mount Sinai under the Imperial Influence in Justinian's Time|
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Art History - General
|Paper 103-b||Seeing is Believing: Church Visibility and the Genesis of a New Religious Landscape in 11th- and 12th-Century England|
Index terms: Architecture - Religious, Computing in Medieval Studies, Lay Piety, Religious Life
|Paper 103-c||The Representation of Noah's Ark in Monreale Cathedral in Sicily|
Index terms: Art History - General, Art History - Painting
The purpose of this paper is to decipher messages of images that cover the walls of Monreale. First, a brief survey of the social situation around the time of construction is given, focusing on the relation between the Popes, Archbishops and Norman kings. Second, previous studies on the mosaic decoration are examined. Third, an overview of the relation between the architectural scheme and the mosaic program in the Cappella Palatina in Palermo is offered, for the cathedral imitates many iconographic features of the Cappella Palatina. However, some aspects of the mosaic decoration in Monreale are unique to the cathedral, connoting certain intriguing messages.
Among the Old Testament cycle, the scenes of Noah’s Ark are specifically arranged, expanding the comparable subject in the Cappella Palatina. I argue that the peculiar form of the Ark might be connected with the intention of the king who wished to proclaim his supremacy over the Palermo Cathedral. His intention might also be reflected in the location of the cathedral itself, being closely connected with floods in Sicily in the 12th century. He might have regarded the cathedral as the promised land where the Ark drifted ashore, surviving the flood with the blessing of God.