|Cefalu is a town on the Northern Coast of Sicily. I painted this recently from old drawings I had done on my last trip to that lovely island, a while ago. The drawings were in an old sketch book which I found as I was doing a bit of Spring cleaning.
The Cathedral which dominates the town was started by Roger the Second, the Norman King of Sicily, who lived from 1095 to 1154. He was a great patron of the arts and encouraged all his subjects, whether Muslim or Christian, to live in peace and harmony. He was an amazingly enlightened ruler at a time when the Crusades were causing immense strife throughout the known world. Apart from the struggle between the Muslims and the Christians, the Roman Church was in bitter dispute with the Orthodox Church in Constantinople. Sicily then was a peaceful island in a turbulent sea.
If you are in Palermo, you must pay a visit to Roger's Palatine Chapel in the old Norman Palace. It is incredibly beautiful, and is a fascinating mixture of Byzantine and Arab styles.