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Donna Felice

Brooches Beads Fabric Leather
Single artwork


Description by the artist

I was inspired by the beautiful Sicilian legend of the Moor’s heads and the ancient gates of the city of Palermo: Saint Agatha, Nuova, Felice and Carbone. Work realized with beads, fabric, rosary chain, and leather. The pendant is made with the technique of embroidery beads. . The turban in fabric was sewn, like  every single bead, by hand.

Details and dimensions

Materials: Beads Fabric Leather
Dimensions (cm): Height 7, Width 4, Depth 0.50
Weight (kg): 0.040
Handcrafted in Sicily

The artwork in the Sicilian culture

By the Governance of Sicilian Artisan Foundation

The Moor’s Heads are a classic representation of artistic Sicily. The Moors bring us back to the Arab domination in Sicily (IX-XI century). The Muslim period lasted almost two centuries but it is the one that has left the biggest imprint, probably, in the rich history of Sicily. Not so much in the monuments (very few) but in the daily life, in the etymology of many words, in the dialect, in the uses and customs. Moors are typical figures which come into play very often in Sicilian culture as for example in the Opera the Puppets or in the legend of the Moor’s heads. They tell of a legend in which a beautiful Sicilian fell in love with an Arab at the time that they reigned in Sicily (IX-XI century), being betrayed by the Moor, she beheaded him in his sleep and hung his head, as if it were a vase, on the balcony, also adorning it with a fragrant basil plant that aroused the admiration of unsuspecting  bystanders. In a certain sense, the Arabs have never left Sicily.
Porta Felice is one of the gates of Palermo. Built in 1581, still existing today, it owes its name to Donna Felice Orsini, wife of the viceroy. It is located at the entrance of the Cassaro.

(photo) Palermo, Porta Felice, engraving, XIX century

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