The Cloister of Monreale
An Online Exhibition by the Photo library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut
The cathedral cloister of Monreale in Sicily documents, in an exemplary way, the diversity and means of artistic expression within Romanesque sculpture. In its rich repertoire of forms and motifs, the cloister capitals combine, on the most ambitious level, the artistic currents at work in the second half of the 12th century. Taking centre stage of the on-line exhibition is a select group of capitals, on which biblical stories, allegories, and historical events are represented. In particular, the aim of the show is to bring attention to the high artistic quality of this type of medieval architectural sculpture, which is visible through the large-format high-resolution digital images without the distracting effects of light, i.e., under optimal "studio viewing conditions", so to speak. With the comprehensive photographic documentation of one of the most prominent cloisters of the Mediterranean, the fototeca accompanied the CENOBIUM project, which was initiated by the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz in 2006 as a joint international research project. CENOBIUM is dedicated to the multimedia-based representation of Mediterranean Romanesque cloister capitals in the form of digital photographs and 3-D models, which are interactively accessible in various institutions and museums, as well as in an on-line format. CENOBIUM pursues the goal of linking works of art virtually with their original contexts and connecting classical and innovative methods of art history with the latest developments in research technology.