Loading Events

Painters, Patrons, and Program: The Ceilings of the “Cappella Palatina” in Palermo

Thursday, February 8, 2018 @ 5:00 pm

Annual Armand Hammer Art History Lecture

On Christmas Day 1130, Roger de Hauteville, leader of the Normans in Southern Italy, had himself crowned king of Sicily. He and his leading ministers immediately set about creating a hybrid material and visual culture for the new monarchy, by importing elements from contemporary Byzantium, the Fatimid Mediterranean, and various sources in Latin Europe. In the chapel of King Roger’s chief palace in Palermo, known as the Cappella Palatina, an exotic variety of forms, motifs, and styles were imported, juxtaposed, and amalgamated.

Examining the ceilings of the chapel, Jeremy Johns (Director, Khalili Research Centre for the Art and Material Culture of the Middle East, University of Oxford) shows how the Christian patrons, King Roger and his agents, appropriated and adapted traditional Islamic programs to their own needs, and how the Muslim artisans painters, who had made other similar ceilings for palaces in the Fatimid Mediterranean before King Roger summoned them to Palermo, responded by themselves appropriating and adapting the Christian models that their patrons required them to follow. It will be argued that neither patrons nor painters were the passive recipients of a traditional decorative program, and that both collaborated as active agents in the creation of a unique, new, hybrid art.

Advance registration is requested. Please click here to complete the short registration form.

No fee. Limited seating. Self-pay parking in lots 2, 3, and 4. Parking information at https://main.transportation.ucla.edu/campus-parking/visitors

Funding for this lecture series is provided by the Armand Hammer Endowment for the UCLA Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies.

Registration for The Annual Hammer Art History Lecture on February 8, 2018

Please complete this form to register for the event. Or call us at 310-825-1880.
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Which selection describes you best?
  • Please let us know how to reach you. We do not share this information.


Thursday, February 8, 2018
5:00 pm


Royce Hall 314
10745 Dickson Plaza
Los Angeles , CA 90095 United States