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

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

Page 186

typical Cypriote tracery and foliage. Built into the wall of the chapel of
the present Orthodox archbishop's palace is another tomb front; here in a
series of Gothic niches is the Crucifixion between the Virgin and St. John,
with a knight and his lady kneeling on either side. It is rude, coarse carving,
the figures flat and thick, and is probably late fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century
 The little relief of the death of the Virgin above the lintel of one of
the doorways of the Bedestan is a still inferior piece and could possibly
be Greek work after the Turkish conquest. A fragment of a frieze in the museum,
with a lion chasing a deer, seems to be a medieval copy of a classical design.
More interesting and more ably executed are the curious sculptures which
form the lintel and imposts of the south door of the Trypioti church in Nicosia.
In the center a masklike figure rises between the branches of a highly stylized
vine; on either side a grotesque lion paws the branches; the imposts have
a mermaid and a monster-like creature and humanheaded birds emerging from
some very formal coils of foliage. It is cut with exactness and care despite
the primitive types used and is almost impossible to date. The present church
is a seventeenthcentury building reusing older material. The formal coils
of vine leaves and tendrils and the flat, featureless treatment of the figures
recall the type of art found on the tomb of St. Theodora, the great shrine
at Arta built about 1280 by the despot of Epirus, Nicephorus. Perhaps the
Trypioti lintel reflects some Epirote tradition in the building undertakings
of the Greek revival under Helena Palaeologina after her marriage to John
II in 1442. In the church of St. Lazarus at Larnaca, Mariti saw in 1767 a
marble pulpit with signs of the evangelists "well worked, in as much as Gothic
taste allows." 17 
 A marble tympanum (33 inches long by 24 inches high) in the Pitt-Rivers
Museum at Farnham, Dorset, suggests in its squat figures the work of the
Hagia Sophia voussoirs (pl. LIXc). It was found by Cesnola at Larnaca, but
probably had come with other building material from the Famagusta area. 18
It represents Christ in a 
17. Viaggi, I, 42. 
18. Hill, History of Cyprus, III, 1137, pl. XVIII; A. Palma di Cesnola, Salaminia,
The History, Treasures, and Antiquities of Salamis (London, 1882), PP. 109-110,
pl. IX; L. 
de Feis, "Le Antichità de Cipro ed i fratelli Luigi ed Alessandro
Palma di Cesnola," Bessarione, VI (1899), 442, pl. III. In 1841 in Smyrna
Sir David Wilkie saw a small group in marble showing Christ crowned with
thorns by Roman soldiers, said to have been found in Cyprus; it was thought
to be fifth- or sixth-century work, but it sounds as though it might well
have been similar to the Farnham tympanum: Allan Cunningham, The Life of
Sir David Wilkie, with his Journals, Tours, and Critical Remarks on Works
of Art..., ed. Peter Cunningham, II (London, 1843), 372. 

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