The church known as La Martorana is in Palermo's Piazza Bellini, next to the church of San Cataldo. It was founded in 1143 by an admiral of King Roger II's, George of Antioch, whose rank gave it the original name of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio. The building of the church took place at much the same time as the construction of Roger's Palatine Chapel, in the Palazzo dei Normanni. It is likely that the same artists and craftsmen were involved in creating the mosaics for both. There are strong Greek and Byzantine influences in the mosaics of Christ, the Madonna and the saints. Two other panels show George of Antioch prostrating himself before the Madonna, and Roger II being crowned king by Christ. This image is a highly political one, as it showed that Roger considered he had God's authority to rule, rather than requiring the Pope's. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures or browse pages.
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