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Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / Volume IV: The art and architecture of the Crusader states

VI: The arts in Frankish Greece and Rhodes,   pp. 208-250 PDF (15.7 MB)

Page 248

 1826 Rottiers saw and drew in the church of St. John the tomb of Fabrizio
del Carretto (the fine armorial relief in the museum at Istanbul, an eagle
holding the Carretto arms, may well come from it), and found various other
fragments. The normal design was a sarcophagus, generally antique in origin,
covered with a flat slab on which there was an inscription or an effigy engraved
or shown in low relief. The sarcophagus of Peter of Corneillan (d. 1355),
now in the Rhodes Museum, served until the Italian occupation as a drinking
trough; the cover is in the Musée de Cluny. Slightly earlier is a
fragment in the Rhodes Museum of the tomb slab of Bernard, bishop of Lango
(Cos); this is engraved on the stone. A slab in the museum of Istanbul, for
a burgher, William Beccario, who died in 1374, is hollowed out into a low
relief, much worn and probably always crude work. In the last days of the
knights the reverse of this tomb slab was used to cut the arms of Castile
and Aragon, supported by an eagle, for the façade of the auberge of
Spain, the boldest and most lively of all the Rhodian armorial carvings.
The script of Beccario's in scription is Gothic black-letter, as it is also
on the tombstone, found in the Suleiman mosque in 1931, of Peter de la Pymoraye,
a Breton knight who died in 1402. Here the technique is similar, the figure
hol lowed out in flat relief, but the work is somewhat abler. The wording
and lettering of the inscription recall those on the tomb slab of another
Breton knight, Oliver Bouchier (d. 1387), in the church of the Incoronata
at Naples, but the Neapolitan example is more fully modeled and the forms
more rounded.27 The average work in Rhodes remains provincial, though a tomb
slab at Istanbul and one of a grand master (possibly Fluvian or Lastic) in
Rhodes are reasonably skillfully carved in a technique of higher relief.
On the whole the most successful Rhodian memorials are those carved with
wreaths and armorial bearings and lettered in Renaissance script, such as
that of Nicholas of Montmirel (d. February 20, 1511), inscribed above "Domine
in te confido" and below in English "As God will." 
 The knights found in Rhodes an established tradition of Byzantine wall painting.
The frescoes of the rock chapels of Mt. Paradisi,28 probably twelfth-century
work, may be taken as an example of this school. This tradition undoubtedly
endured, but, as in Cyprus, certain western elements modified the work under
the Hospitallers. Unfortunately we know it only in much-damaged 
 27. S. F. Bridges, "A Breton Adventurer in Naples," Papers of the British
School at Rome, XIX (1951), 154-159. 
 28. C. Brandi, "La Capella rupestre del Monte Paradiso," Memorie dell' Istituto
storico-archeologico di Rodi, III (1938-1946), 1-18, pis. I-XXII. 

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