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

VI: The Arts in Frankish Greece and Rhodes,   pp. 208-250 PDF (16.3 MB)

Page 226

of narrative scenes, based on the Iviron Gospels.22 The Manuscrit du roi,
a thirteenth-century collection of ballads and their musical settings, contains
a poem by "the prince of Morea" (William II of Villehardouin), and the page,
now mutilated, was formerly headed, to judge from other instances in the
book, by an equestrian portrait of him. There is however nothing to suggest
that this was a locally produced work, and its Gothic style has no eastern
elements in it. 23 
 Of the magnificent revival of wall painting at Mistra in the fourteenth
century, Frankish Greece has no certain echoes. At Geraki in the church of
the Zoodochos Pege there is a fresco of Christ standing beside the cross.
The fine folds of the garment, almost like those of Burgundian sculpture,
and the pronounced elongation of the figure are not related to the great
school of Mistra. It is tempting to think that here in a town where Latin
influences can be traced the paintings too owed something to Latin example
or even practice. They remain the nearest point of contact between the Gothic
spirit and that rich flowering of thought and literature and painting which
so strangely adorned the despotate of Mistra. The renown of Crete was of
a somewhat later date. It was in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that
the island gave its name to a phase of Byzantine painting. 
 On the northern frontier of the mainland Latin states, hemming them in and
gradually encroaching upon them, were the Byzantine powers, often enough
opposed to one another, of the despotate of Epirus and the revived empire
of the Palaeologi. The coast towns of the former bear traces of Venetian
occupation, based on the original partition of 1204, though, inland, Venice
never secured more than a nominal suzerainty. 24 The round tower of Durazzo
is probably Venetian fourteenth-century work; a Venetian church still stands
 22. Weitzmann, "Constantinopolitan Book Illumination in the Period of the
Latin Conquest," Gazette des beaux-arts, ser. 6, XXV (1944), 193-214. 
 23. See Jean and L. Beck, Le Manuscrit du roi, fonds francais n0 844 de
la Bibliothèque nationale (Corpus cantilenarum medii aevi, ser. 1:
Les chansonniers des troubadours et des trouvères, no. 2; 2 vols.,
Philadelphia and London, 1938), I, fol. 4r-4v; II, p. 17, and Longnon, L'Empire
latin, p. 195. There exists one other manuscript painted by a French artist
but under strong Byzantine influence. It is a Latin psalter fragment now
in the Vatican Library, MS. Rossiana 529. The sole historiated miniature
seems to be related to the Riccardiana psalter, but the facility of the artist
in the Byzantine idiom suggests an attribution to Constantinople during the
Latin empire. See H. Buchthal, Miniature Painting in the Latin Kingdom of
Jerusalem (Oxford, 1957), pp. 94-95. [J. F.] 
 24. Little has been written on the monuments of this area. For Arta see
the articles by A. K. Orlandos in APXe1OV rc~o f3V~cWTWCZ~V j.w~e1wv T~'ic
' EXXé~6oc, II(1936), 88-202, and D. M. Nicol, The Despotate of Epirus
(Oxford, 1957), pp. 196-215. There are some brief accounts and photographs
in J. A. T. Degrand, Souvenirs de la Haute-Albanie (Paris, 1901). 

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