marble tribune

The Tribune was commissioned to the sculptor Antonello Gagini by Archbishop Giovanni Paternò around 1507. The artist worked on this monumental marble work from 1509 until 1536, the year of his death. It was then completed by his successors, his sons Giacomo, Antonio and Vincenzo in 1574. This grandiose piece, approximately 25 metres high, contained forty niches and was located in the apse of the nave. Architecturally, it was divided into three registers with three tiers of overlapping niches, each containing life-size statues of saints, Doctors of the Church, apostles and evangelists. The whole structure was defined by moulded pilasters, architraves and bands containing panels, worked in high relief, with the stories of the respective saints and tondos with angels holding crowns. The first and second orders housed 14 statues, and the last one housed 12. In the centre, in larger niches, we can see Mary assumed into heaven and the Risen Christ. The highlight of the entire tribune was the Eternal Father, in stucco, inserted in the semi-dome of the apse. The Padre Eterno (Eternal Father), made by Vincenzo Gagini, was in stucco. The tribune was dismantled during the renovation work carried out by the architect, Fuga, at the end of the 18th century, which changed the appearance of the Cathedral forever. Statues, tiles and tondos were inserted inside and outside the Cathedral.