MOSAIC ARTIST, Italian
(active 1180s in Monreale)
The cathedral of Monreale, above Palermo, was erected by King William II (1167/71-1189) in a royal park on the site of an earlier Greek church. Work on the structure and its decoration was largely completed by the death of the king in 1189. The church was consecrated to the Assumption of the Virgin.
The interior is impressive in its spaciousness and rich decor. Not only are there mosaics throughout, but also large antique columns with decorative capitals, marble paneling on the lower wall surfaces, and an ornamental floor in the sanctuary. The mosaics cover the upper portions of the walls of the sanctuary and the nave, in all a surface area of roughly 7.600 sq m. The Monreale Cathedral thus presents the most extensive mosaic decor in Italy, surpassing even Venice's San Marco.