And thank you, Bjd. I am getting sloppy in my old age.
Thanks, Amboseli. You will see arches di tutti arches pretty soon.
You all hold on to your hats, 'cause you ain't seen nothing yet!
Then turning to face the altar ~
Let me say here at the outset that there will be a great many pictures, with a few that aren't great quality. I was frustrated by the lighting -- electric candelabra with very bright bulbs. They not only gave a yellow cast to some of the pictures, but the glare made it hard to see some of the incredible beauty. I tried to cover the whole place, but as a skilled photographer who was there at the same time commented to me, "You could spend a couple of weeks in this place & not get it all."
Interesting that you should ask that, Htmb. The truth is that those pictures of the wood carvings at the beginning of this thread were actually taken towards the end of the visit. I finally went outside, took the carving pictures, then couldn't help myself -- I went right back in & starting looking all over again!
Even though it was miserably hot, there were people there who were just as entranced as I. In fact, in this chapel & a few other places, I felt sorry for some people who were traveling with others. There was always one who was completely absorbed by a place and who was inevitably called away by a traveling companion(s) who was bored/had to pee/was hot etc. Art aficionados in that situation really need anyport as an outlet for sharing their pleasure and their photos!
Thanks for the response, Bixa. I had removed my post since it was right between your beautiful photos. I was planning to post it again once you were at a stopping point, so I'll restate here that I wanted to know what it felt like to be in this space. Was it overwhelming? I can only imagine.
Htmb, I wouldn't say it was overwhelming in the sense of too much to bear, more on the order of having riches beyond imagining poured upon you, just thrilled and grateful for the experience. And really, as I indicated in my previous reply, downright greedy to take it all in.
Given the age of the building and the amount of decoration, it seems to me to be in pretty good shape. I have seen many 'grand' buildings that have not had the maintenance that this one appears to have enjoyed. Is it still in use, apart from tourists snapping away?
Lighting is always a double edged sword...cables and light fittings all over the place and getting 'light bounce' off shiny surfaces versus ability to photograph the dimmer corners. Using a slower shutter gets good results if you can prop yourself against a column or something. Most cameras have this on their automatic setting now.
Bixa. Your photos are, as usual , magnificent.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
Truly incredible set of photos! Ideas are clashing in my brain though about what if Facebook had existed back then? Would all of those saints and religious figures be the 'friends' of an overactive user? I can't imagine that every single saint was important to the builders, but they certainly seem to have portrayed every single saint they could think of.
The first depiction of the angels inside the dome (reply #12, 4th photo) makes me think of the football team and all of the ladies on the ceiling (reply #14, photos 2-3-4 and many others) wopuld indicate a huge squad of cheerleaders.
Okay, I'll go back to the clinic for treatment now.
This is obviously a spectacular building, I've never seen a church in Italy that is even comparable--even in Rome. In spite of the shortcomings in the ambient light inside, the magic sparkles through in your photos. Really, what can you even say about it? Words fail. But thank you, I'd never even heard of this amazing place before.
LaGatta, if you'll hold down Ctrl then click the Plus key as many times as necessary, you can see the text on that sign better. To return your screen to normal size, use Ctrl and the Zero key.
Questa, I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know if the chapel is still used for religious purposes. I tend to doubt it, as part of the palace is also a government chamber. I'll bet the chapel has been considered a treasure since it was built, so probably never mistreated. However there have been many wars and changes of government since the 1100s, including bombing during WWII, so it's quite impressive that it's in such good condition.
Isn't that the truth, Bjd! I assume all the pictures, etc. in churches were to instruct and awe the illiterate. However this chapel was also Roger's way of saying "Look what I can do. Look how mighty I am."
Kerouac, before you take yourself off to the clinic, you should know that your perceptions are pretty accurate. Check out this explanation with pictures here and a more scholarly view here.
Mossie & Questa ~ yep!
Fumobici, I fervently hope you get a chance to go to Palermo, which I think you'd enjoy very much. I wasn't there nearly long enough -- didn't go see Monreale, for instance, which is half of the debate over which is better, Monreale or the Cappella Palantina.
What a stunningly beautiful place! You did an excellent job photographing it, despite the lighting challenges. Thank you for this delightful tour.
I can't help but think how difficult it must be to clean and maintain a place like this. I wonder how it is done. Does a team of people gently go over the mosaics with toothbrushes? At any rate, the caretakers seem to be doing a great job.
bixa, I'm going to pore over your Sicilian housewife's blog. Funny, some called the man who isn't Black "whitey"; he is of a distinctive Mediterranean type who could be from Southern Europe or the Arab world. The images of the musicians are very much of Arab (or derived from Persian) art. In terms of slightly salacious jokes, did you notice the penis on Saint Mark as a lion? I know you are a dog person, but tomcats only get their Schmuck out for urination, sex or washing themselves. Tomcats large and small. Obviously the retractable penis was an evolutionary advantage in catfights.
I was going to say "Monreale, of course", but I've never been there. I have been to a Montereale in northeastern Italy.