Sicily (?)

Arm reliquary of St Marcian

Second half of the12th century,


    Reliquary in chased silver designed to hold the arm of St Marcian, proto-martyr and the first bishop of Syracuse. The ornamentation is a succession of lilies bordered with lozenges, doubled with a frieze of plant rinceau set in a vertical band. The inscription identifies the English bishop Richard Palmer as having commissioned the work, which can thus be dated to 1182. It stands apart from the orientalizing output of the Sicilian workshops, and motifs like the lily point to Franco-Flemish influence.

Dimensions of the object
H. 55 cm., l. 21 cm

- I Normanni, popolo d'Europa, Roma, Venezia, 1994, a cura di Mario d'Onofio, n° 332.
- Italie des Normands, Normandie des Plantagenêts, Musée de Normandie, Caen, 1995, n° 34.

Messina, Tesoro della Cattedrale

Photoraphy : DR