Bari, St Nicholas Basilica (Puglia)

Enamelled plaque

St Nicholas crowning Roger II

c. 1132

    Small enamelled copper plaque originally decorating the ciborium of St Nicholas Basilica in Bari. It represents the coronation of Roger II by St Nicholas. The relics of this saint of the Greek church were transferred to Bari in 1087 following the Norman expeditions to the Byzantine empire. Roger II's coronation in actual fact took place in Palermo in 1130. His depiction as a Byzantine sovereign being crowned by St Nicholas testifies both to the allegiance of the town of Bari to the new king and to the protection of the Norman sovereigns over a town that had become an important place of pilgrimage. It can be dated to 1132 at the latest, following accords made at that date between the new Norman king and the clergy of Bari. The piece uses a technique combining Byzantine influences and those of Limousin enamels.

Dimensions of the object
23, 5 cm x 24 cm x 0, 4 cm

- I Normanni, popolo d'Europa, Roma, Venezia, 1994, a cura di Mario d'Onofio,
n° 65.
- Trésors romans d'Italie du Sud et de Sicile, Toulouse, Musée des Augustins, G. Coppola (dir.), 1995.

Bari, Tesoro della Basilica S. Nicola

Photography : DR