The exhibition is the result of a wide-sweeping study of Piazza Armerina's venerated Madonna delle Vittorie, rediscovered in 1348.
The tradition that links the Sicilian town of Piazza Armerina to the Count of Norman origins, Ruggero
I d’Altavilla, still holds strong, since the Count donated the icon to the town following his victories banishing the Saracens from the island. There are further links to kikkotissa and the famous icon donated by Alexius I Commenius to the Kikko monastery in Cyprus, all part of the Mediterranean artistic culture stretching from Cyprus to Puglia to eastern Sicily, with copies and derived works in the Campania region and Sicily itself, especially the Madonna dell’Alemanna in Gela.
An important part of the exhibition deals with the spread of devotion to the icon fostered by the reforms in the 15th century and the effects of the counter-reformation, with the accent on sources from within the Jesuits and the Franciscans, and the influences on 17th and 18th art, particularly on devotional objects wrought in silver.