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)
Ch. VI RHODES 249 fragments or in copies of works now perished, rapidly deteriorating, or recently restored. From time to time new evidence emerges from under Turkish whitewash, and scattered throughout the chapels and churches of the smaller islands there are remains of paintings, some of which suggest western influence. No sufficient photographic corpus has yet been made for any comparative work to be possible. Rottiers in the early nineteenth century saw traces in the grand master's palace of scenes from the history of the order, and describes in a building, used as a Turkish house, a fresco of Dieudonné of Gozon killing the dragon, which he had copied in a version that appears merely as a fantasy of the romantic movement. His copies of the frescoes in the sunk tomb chapel at Our Lady of Phileremos are again so crude as to give merely the subject and little indication as to style.29 Some far closer copies were made by Auguste Salzmann between 1860 and 1870, but by that time the frescoes had largely perished. They represented biblical scenes in the upper row while below a row of knights and ladies knelt beside their protecting saints; skeletons were shown also overshadowing some of the figures. In feeling such an arrangement is purely western. Salzmann's copies and the vague traces of original work that still remain show that in execution they were flat and crude, but the direction of the scheme must have been in western hands. The armor suggests a fourteenthcentury date. Belabre drew and reproduced some frescoes in a chapel on the walls, where the outer enceinte, beyond the Sea gate, joins the inner wall; these frescoes included a large mounted St. George, very similar to versions in relief of the same subject, one of which is at Rhodes, another at Bodrum; but Belabre's drawing can hardly be regarded as reliable, and the chapel was damaged in the second world war. Its doorway bore the arms of Peter of Culan, who was lieutenant-general under Heredia from 1382 to 1 395. 30 There are no illuminated manuscripts which can with certainty be assigned to Rhodes as place of origin. There is however an important missal, now preserved in London in the grand priory at St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell. By its arms it can be identified with the missal which Bosio in his chronicle tells us was made for the grand prior of St. Gilles, Charles Aleman de la Rochechenard, and presented to the 29. Rottiers, Monumens de Rhodes, pp. 151 and 239, pls. XXVIII and LXI-LXVII; G. Schlumberger, "Fresques du XIV e siècle d'un caveau funéraire de l'église de Notre-Dame de Philérémos (ou Philerme) a Rhodes," Fondation Eugene Piot, Monuments et mémofres, XIX (Paris, 1911), 211-216, pis. XXI and XXII. The frescoes were much restored by the Italians. 30. Belabre, Rhodes of the Knights, pp. 9 1-92, frontispiece, figs. 74, 75, 76; Gabriel, La Cite de Rhodes, I, 67; Gerola, "I Monument! medioevale delle tredici Sporadi," Annuario della R. Scuola archeologica deAtene. . . , I (1914), 211.
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