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.
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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.