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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 187

mandorla supported by angels; on his right hand are the Crucifixion, where
a flying angel removes the crown of thorns from Christ's head, and the Carrying
of the Cross; on his left hand are the Baptism, Annunciation, and Resurrection;
below are the Virgin between two angels and six apostles on either side of
her. The main theme is therefore the Ascension; the selection of the minor
scenes appears somewhat unusual. It probably comes from the late fourteenth
century, the period of fusion into a Byzantino-Gothic style. The soldiers
wear chain mail. The hand of Christ makes the sign of benediction in the
Greek manner, but this is so general throughout Cypriote carving and painting
that little importance can be attached to it, and on artistic evidence it
would seem probable that in the island the Latins came to use the Greek placing
of the fingers. On a thirteenth-century tomb slab, which Enlart found reused
in the minbar of Hagia Sophia, archbishop Theobald gives the Latin blessing:
19 the lady abbess, Eschiva of Dampierre, on her tomb in Our Lady of Tyre
of 1340, uses the Greek gesture. As an example of a more purely Italianate
style of sculpture can be quothd the relief of St. Mamas on his lion, carrying
the Agnus Dei, now in the cloisters of the modern church of the Holy Cross
in Nicosia. It is dated 1524 and is a provincial Venetian work, a votive
offering, in which the donor, supported by an angel, kneels before the saint
in a setting of rocks and palms. 
 Heraldic carving probably played a large part in Cypriote as in Rhodian
decoration. Two examples must serve, both drawn from an outpost of Cypriote
rule, the town of Adalia on the south coast of Asia Minor, captured by Peter
I in 1361 and held till 1376.20 In the barracks here were, until recently,
two carved marble slabs: on one were the arms of Peter I; on the other, now
in the museum at Istanbul, two shields, each held by clasped hands. The shields
displayed the arms of Peter's Order of the Sword, the Lusignan arms, and
a lozengy coat which, if John de Sur can be identified (as seems probable)
with John de Nevile of Arsuf, is his arms and a record of his governorship,
which was distinguished by an art-historical incident, the theft of the icon
of St. Nicholas from the church at 
 19. Enlart, Monuments des croisés, I, 169-170, pl. 39. Although no
Theobald is named by Gams or Eubel among the archbishops of Nicosia, there
is a gap in the lists between 1264 and 1270; Theobald is called archdeacon
of Troyes (Trecensis) in the fragmentary inscription, but Enlart identifies
him as an archbishop because he wears the pallium. 
 20. F. W. Hasluck, "Frankish Remains at Adalia," Annual of the British School
at Athens, XV (1909), 270-273, and "A French inscription at Adalia," ibid.,
xvi (1910), 185-186. There are similar heraldic pieces in the National Archaeological
Museum at Istanbul. 

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