The Sicilian Baroque - The Baroque Architecture and Art of Sicily

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The Church of the Gesù (aka Chiesa del Gesù) aka Church of Saint Mary of Gesu (aka Chiesa di Santa Maria di Gesù) aka Casa Professa is one of the most important Baroque churches in Sicily.

Sicily

The marble reliefs with their figural and ornamental motifs in the Church of the Gesù (Chiesa del Gesù) are unique.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

Baroque balcony in Noto

Baroque balcony on Palazzo Nicolaci in via Nicolaci, Noto.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

The Dramatic Power of Sicilian Baroque Architecture and the Emotional Impact it makes.

Duomo, Siracusa

The facade of the Cathedral in Syracuse, a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition erected in 1728-54. It was designed by Andrea Palma.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Collegiata (c. 1768, aka The Basilica della Collegiata and Santa Maria dell'Elemosina

The theatricality of the Sicilian Baroque is wonderful. This is the undulating facade of the royal chapel Collegiata (c. 1768, aka The Basilica della Collegiata and Santa Maria dell'Elemosina). Architects: Stefano Ittar, Angelo Italia and Antonio Amato.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

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The cathedral in Noto. Built after the devastating earthquake in 1693, Noto – planned on a grid system by Giovanni Battista Landolina – has numerous baroque buildings.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Hall of Mirrors in Villa Palagonia

The insanely marvellous, eccentric and overwhelming Hall of Mirrors (Sala degli specchi) in Villa Palagonia, the most famous and popular of the many 18th Century villas in Bagheria.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Duomo / cathedral in Syracuse

Detail of the decorative ornaments of the baroque cathedral in Syracuse.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Sicilian Sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List

  • Agrigento: Archaeological Area of Agrigento (UNESCO)
  • Aeolian Islands: Isole Eolie. The group consists of seven islands (Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi, Alicudi and Panarea) and five small islets (Basiluzzo, Dattilo, Lisca Nera, Bottaro and Lisca Bianca) in the vicinity of Panarea. (UNESCO)
  • Caltagirone (UNESCO)
  • Catania (UNESCO)
  • Cefalù Cathedral
  • Militello Val di Catania (UNESCO)
  • Modica (UNESCO)
  • Monreale Cathedral
  • Mount Etna (UNESCO)
  • Noto (UNESCO)
  • Palermo: Palazzo dei Normanni (The Norman Palace)
  • Palermo: Cappella Palatina (The Palatine Chapel in the Norman Palace)
  • Palermo: Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti
  • Palermo: Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio (also known as the Martorana)
  • Palermo: Church of San Cataldo
  • Palermo: Cathedral of Palermo
  • Palermo: The Zisa Palace (La Zisa)
  • Palermo: The Cuba Palace (La Cuba)
  • Palazzolo Acreide (UNESCO)
  • Ragusa (UNESCO)
  • Scicli (UNESCO)
  • Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica (UNESCO)

 

 

Sicily

The church of Santa Lucia alla Badia (La chiesa di Santa Lucia alla Badia) is located on the south side of Piazza Duomo. The Bavarian-baroque facade from 1695 is made by Luciano Caracciolo. Inside the church there is a very famous painting by Caravaggio (St. Lucia's funeral).

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

La chiesa delle Anime del Purgatorio (Church of the Souls in the Purgatory), Trapani. The facade was made by Giovanni Biagio Amico.

The elaborate facade of La chiesa delle Anime del Purgatorio (Church of the Souls in the Purgatory), one of the many baroque 18th century churches in Trapani. The facade was made by Giovanni Biagio Amico.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

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Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita, Palermo

 

Serpotta putto in Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita, Palermo.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Giacomo Serpotta stuccoes in Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita

Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita, Palermo

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Giacomo Serpotta stuccoes in Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita

Oratorio del Rosario di Santa Cita, Palermo

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Oratorio del SS. Rosario di San Domenico

Stucco putti by Giacomo Serpotta (1656-1732) in Oratorio del SS. Rosario di San Domenico, Palermo.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Oratorio di San Lorenzo, Palermo

Giacomo Serpotta putto in Oratorio di San Lorenzo, Palermo

Stucco by Giacomo Serpotta in the Oratorio di San Lorenzo, Palermo.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Serpotta decorations in Cappella Palatina in Castelbuono

Giuseppe and Giacomo Serpotta chapel Castello Ventimiglia

The brothers Giuseppe and Giacomo Serpotta decorated the little Cappella Palatina ("Palace Chapel") in Castello Ventimiglia (the castle in Castelbuono).

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

Modica

Modica Cathedral

The cathedral in Modica.

Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

 

 

The late baroque towns of the Val di Noto in South-Eastern Sicily that are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List

The late baroque towns of the Val di Noto in South-Eastern Sicily that are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List are Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli. These towns were all rebuilt after the earthquake in 1693 on or beside towns. According to UNESCO, they represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building.

The late baroque towns inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List represents the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe. The exceptional quality of the late Baroque art and architecture in the Val di Noto lies in its geographical and chronological homogeneity, as well as its quantity, the result of the 1693 earthquake in this region. The towns were all in existence in medieval times, characteristically around a castle and with monastic foundations.

 

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