Title

French Connections: The Significance of the Fleurs-de-Lis in the Mosaic of King Roger II of Sicily in the Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, Palermo

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Journal / Book Title

Viator-Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Abstract

The mosaic of Christ crowning Roger II of Sicily in the church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, Palermo has long been recognized for its Byzantine influence. While acknowledging this debt, this article calls attention to a little-discussed western influence - the fleurs-de-lis on the king’s robe - and argues that although the mosaic borrowed heavily from Byzantine imperial iconography, the inclusion of lilies was meant to emphasize Roger’s French connections. This study discusses the growing significance of the flower among the Capetian kings (particularly Louis VII) and investigates the broader historical context that includes the rise of the French monarchy, the development of the French state, and the nature of French identity in the twelfth century to explain why Roger would have been interested in cultivating his connections to France. In so doing, the article attempts to realign Roger with his western roots, which at times have been overlooked in favor of the exotic elements of his kingdom.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1484/J.VIATOR.1.103145

Journal ISSN / Book ISBN

00835897

Published Citation

French Connections: The Significance of the Fleurs-de-Lis in the Mosaic of King Roger II of Sicily in the Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio, Palermo, Dawn Marie Hayes, Viator 2013 44:1, 119-149

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