Dedication Capital

The principal thematic organization of this double capital revolves around the presentation, by King William II of Sicily, of a model of his cathedral to the Virgin. Portrayed on the long side of the double capital and accompanied by the carved inscription, +REQ CVNTA REGIS SICVLI DATA SVSCIPE REGIS, on the impost block, King William II strides spiritedly out and presents his gift to the Virgin. Supported by a flying angel, this model precisely depicts the characteristic features of the basilica, bell tower, transept, and apses. With outstretched hand, Mary reaches out to accept the King’s gift, while Christ’s hand is likewise extended in the gesture of blessing. The three other sides of the capital contain only single figures with the fragmentary remains of flanking angels. Crowned and dressed in antique robes, these central figures carry specific attributes and are also identified individually by inscriptions. Between the virtues Spes and Fides, the Lamb of God is presented with a crossed nimbus and cross, above which is the inscription; +IC DNS MAGNVS LEO CRISTVS CERNITVR AGNVS. The narrow sides are conceived in the same manner and bear the inscriptions; +IUSTITIA DOMINI, and +DEUS EST CARITAS, referring therefore to Justice and Charity. The four allegorical figures wear royal insignia, including a crown, sceptre, orb and sword. They are all symbolically linked to the scene depicting the dedication of the cathedral to the Virgin while at the same time they also give praise to the virtues of William II himself.

King William II presenting the model of the church to the Virgin with the Child]

Presentation of the model of the church and Charity


Hope, Faith, and the Lamb of God

Charity, Faith, and Justice


King William II with the model of the church and the angel

Charity, Faith, and the Lamb of God


© KHI in Florence | 10.08.2020 10:29:17