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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The art and architecture of the crusader states
(1977)

V: The Arts in Cyprus,   pp. 165-207 PDF (15.7 MB)


Page 165

V 
THE ARTS IN CYPRUS 
A. Ecclesiastical Art 
 As with Syria, so with Cyprus the basis for the history of its arts in the
period of Frankish domination is the work of Camille Enlart. His L ' Art
gothique et la Renaissance en Chypre was published in 1899, some twenty-five
years before his account of the Latin kingdom in Syria, but the exhaustive
care and the informed insight with which he studied the monuments have left
little need for revision. 
 Syria enjoyed the first convinced enthusiasm of the crusades, and its twelfth-century
pilgrimages included able masons in their ranks. The thirteenth century saw
the seacoast towns on the defensive, still hectically prosperous, extravagant
in festivity, occasionally prodigal in church building of resources that
necessity more usually diverted to military defense work, while the west
became more critical and less generous. The Latin empire of Constantinople
was a fleeting episode which left little trace on the monuments of the capital
city. In Greece, a penurious baronage found no continuing tradition of building
among its scattered subject population, while the trading ports were from
the first in Venetian hands. Rhodes remained Greek until after 1 300. It
is in Cyprus alone that the art history of the crusades works itself out
over some three centuries. Concentrated within the protection of its island
boundaries; well supplied with good building stone and local laborers who,
though unskilled, proved apt pupils; rich, at least for a time, through tile
diversion of Levantine trade to its harbors, Cyprus under Lusignan rule,
however turbulent in its brawls, experienced a rounded period of artistic
opportunity. 
 The foundations for the study of Cypriote medieval archaeology were laid
by L. de Mas Latrie in his Histoire de l'ile de Chypre sous le règne
des princes de la maison de Lusignan (3 vols., Paris, 1852-186 1) and L 'Ile
de Chypre, sa situation présente et ses souvenirs du 
165 


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