inlay dreams mosaic
from imperfections— beauty
offerings to kings
Its interior gobsmackingly adorned with 6500 square meters of handcrafted mosaics mounted with 2,200 kilograms of pure gold inlays, the Monreale Cathedral, Palermo built by Sicily’s King William II (brother-in-law to England’s Richard I), was constructed from 1172 to 1267.
The 7.8 meters (25 feet) high doors, of the cathedral’s main entrance “West Doors” shown above are constructed of 40 separate bronze panels, which were then nailed to a solid wood backing. These doors are one of the few bronze doors in history to be signed by the creator/designer. Artist Bonanno of Pisa signed and dated the bottom panel with his name and the year “1186.”
Trivia: These doors have been plagued by a host of architectural hiccups well documented by scholars and restorers. It has been suggested that these irregularities may have been the product of the doors’ off-site build 1200+ km away in Pisa.
First, the doors are rectangular in shape; whereas the archway where they reside is not (see below).
Second, the biblical narrative the panels are meant to portray from Genesis to the Ascension of Jesus Christ, some suggest, loses its “theological flow” from top to bottom.
And third, one bronze panel appears to have been installed in the incorrect orientation wherein a lion figure (see below) seems to have been installed upside-downish.
Extra Trivia: In 2017, Dolce and Gabbana (D&G) held its “Alta Sartoria” collection fashion show, inspiried by this cathedral’s stunning mosaics, in the piazza in front of these doors.
The difference between the shape of the doors versus that of the archway is shown below.
Close-up details below of one of the bronze doors (notice the lion in the last panel on the bottom right):
Wider angle of Monreale Cathedral, Palermo, Sicily below:
Written for Dan Antion – @ No Facilities – #ThursdayDoors