Nicolaci (Villadorata) Palace--page 2 (of two pages)


Balconies: a sign of wealth

According to Tobriner, "the social status of an individual in Noto would be read from the facade of his dwelling. The more important the building and the greater the client's ability to pay, the more likely the building would be to have decorated door mouldings, window surrounds, or a facade proudly ornamented with the orders--all carved in pietra d'intaglio" (123). These balconies made of costly materials are elaborately and expensively carved. Tobriner adds that these balconies are the "most boisterous decoration in Noto," perhaps more notable because the facade itself is planar and "pristine."

Female heads, decorative foliage and grotesque masks supporting this balcony


Prancing winged horses, foliage, and an alligator-like figure with a tail with scales (visible in the image on the right)


Grotesque carved male figures, some winged but missing limbs; below on the brackets are babys' heads


Floating naked female figures, elaborated foliage, and grotesque heads


Naturalistic heads above apparently horrified grotesque faces

See row below as well.

Storybook lions with stylized manes

Return to page 1.

Works Consulted or Quoted:
The Baroque Art in Val di Noto [official guidebook] Palermo, n.d.
Grady, Ellen. Sicily [Blue Guide]. New York: Norton, 2006.
Tobriner, Stephen. The Genesis of Noto. London: Zwemmer, 1982.

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© 2012 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.