An artistic poser. This beautiful

Yarnold66 Image
04/01/2016 - 13:00

An artistic poser. This beautiful watercolour has recently come imnto my possession. Does anyone recognise the ornate Italian doorway depicted in the attached watercolour? Any help would be greatly appreciated.



Although I do agree regarding the author, William Leighton Smith, and Wikiart identifies the watercolor as the interior of a mosque, I do not think that this description is accurate, because of the following reasons:The architectural style is classic, I would further venture that it corresponds to the Sicilian Baroque.The walls are decorated with frescoes depicting human figures, something absolutely forbidden by the Islamic religion.The clothes worn by the characters depicted correspond better to Sicilian costumes of the 19th Century.i am almost certain that it is a Sicilian Baroque church or public building. 

INteresting one - now Ive blown up the photo (have you got one in higher resolution?)  Im inclined to agree with Gaia.  Its certainly not a mosque, the figures in the capella are either saints or bishops.   But it could be one of the  early Norman churches which had a very islamic feel to them, and then is in the process of being 'baroqued' as happened so often.  It depends if the vaults are mouldings or are, as I originally thought, just unpainted areas.  The type of moulding, could be found in the Norman churches in Sicily - of which now there are very very few, and unless its the Cuba or the Zisa its a church that no longer exists.  

I would agree with Modicasa. The 1693 Sicily Earthquake caused the destruction of many old buildings, particularly in the Val di Noto area, which were rebuilt in the late Baroque or Sicilian Baroque style. This would explain everything, although it would be difficult to identify this particular church. Definitely, not a mosque.

Great investigation, Modicasa! I have not visited la Zisa, but I will certainly go there. I was pretty sure that it was not a church, the attitude of the characters depicted was too casual and there were the oil or wine amphorae... And the clothes... Now, la Zisa is the perfect example of Sicilian architecture, with Moorish, Norman  and Baroque elements. I am delighted with this is a good video