Sicily's Heavenly Light: Mosaics in Monreale with Dr. Sara Magister

Sicily's Heavenly Light: Mosaics in Monreale with Dr. Sara Magister


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The stunning mosaics in the Duomo of Monreale in Sicily prove that the Middle Ages were not “dark”, but instead shined with heavenly light. Built near to Palermo under the reign of the Norman kings in the twelth century, the Duomo of Monreale is one of the greatest masterpieces of art and faith in Italy, on par with the churches of Ravenna and St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

In this seminar, Art Historian Sara Magister will guide participants through the magnificent mosaics not only to experience of the beauty of one of the most visited sites in the world, but also to understand the meaning and function of these art works. We will learn about the people and times that produced these marvels, including the Norman rulers and the multicultural team of Byzanatine, Arabic, Latin and French artisans hired to build and decorate Monreale. Together they created a singular masterpiece in the Mediterranean world.

A native Roman, Dr. Sara Magister is a published author and scholar. She will lead participants through this remarkable Sicilian treasure to uncover the visual, spiritual and political meanings in the mosaic decorations and show the connection of heaven and earth represented.

Sara is an art historian with doctoral degrees in Medieval and Modern Art History and Classical Antiquities. She is the author of a book, published by the Accademia dei Lincei, on the antiquities collection of Pope Julius II and has written various articles in important scholarly journals on the history of Renaissance and Baroque collections. More recently, she had published a book on some of the most famous paintings of Caravaggio in Rome which introduces a new interpretation of the works, based on philological data, and which is changing the way we look at this artist.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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