Cloak of Roger II of Sicily

Cloak of Roger II of Sicily

Date 12th century

Movement Islamic

Medium Red silk embroidered with silk and pearls

Diameter 11’3″

Provenance Palermo, Italy

Housed at Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna


Muslim craftsmen worked abroad; in Palermo, Italy, for example, they created this cape of Roger II of the Norman Dynasty that was to be used for centuries in Hapsburg coronations. Artists incorporated luster-glazed ceramic pieces, glass, and rock crystal upon red silk from Iran or China; their designs praise the Catholic ruler in Arabic, interestingly.