St. Gabriel the Archangel

Mid-12th century
Church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglia ("The Martorana"), Palermo, Sicily

To express St. Gabriel's importance in the court of Heaven, Orthodox images such as this one picture him as a Byzantine courtier of the highest status, wearing red shoes and the long scarf called a loros. The labarum that he grasps with his right hand is also a symbol of authority in the Byzantine court.

This image is paired on the ceiling with one of the archangel Michael, both of them directing the viewer's attention toward the inner part of the apse.

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Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.