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

VII: Painting and sculpture in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem, 1099-1291,   pp. 251-280 PDF (16.3 MB)

Page 271

large size of these capitals for a relatively small church suggests that
they may indeed have been reused, though if so, it is remarkable that they
are in such excellent condition. 30 
 The same problem exists all over crusader Palestine for different types
of capitals. There are fine spiky acanthus capitals, of which ex cellent
examples are found in the crusader chapel at Beth Gibelin (pl. XIVb), built
about 1134, and in the later church at Ramla(pl. XVIb). Many of these Byzantine-style
capitals are probably reused from earlier buildings. There are the thick,
curved-leaf capitals based on Levantine Early Christian models as found in
the crusader churches at Gaza, Ramla, and Sebastia (pls. XVIa and b, XVIIIa),
all three probably dating from the third quarter of the twelfth century.
There are also diminutive versions on the lantern of the Qubbat al-Mi'rãj,
probably built originally as the crusader baptistry to the Temple (pl. Xa).
Few of these capitals seem to be reused material. 
 Crusader use of older types of capitals is more often found in imi tations
or reinterpretations of pre-crusader models. There are, for example, many
versions of the Corinthian capital. At the Tomb of the Virgin is a handsome,
more plastic interpretation of the Byzan tine spiky-leaf type (pl. Vb). The
capital at St. James has lamb-like animals amidst articulated and thick curving
leaves (pl. Vc). Some time after 1167 at the church of the Resurrection in
Nablus, the main portal shows increased plasticity of the leaves as well
as a taller, slenderer drum shape for the capital (pl. XVIIb). But when the
cru saders decorated the entries to the Grotto in the church of the Na tivity
about the same time, they reverted to a more conservative, leafy-style capital
reminiscent of the façade of the Holy Sepulcher (pl. XIVa). On the
pulpit of Burhan-ad-Din on the Temple platform there are crusader capitals
in the southwest corner which reinterpret an earlier Byzantine round-bodied
exemplar (pl. Xd). All these varia tions of Corinthian-type capitals continue
the classical tradition in the Holy Land through the twelfth century, and
many were prob ably the work of local Christians. 
 The distinctive western contributions in capital sculpture are to be found
in other kinds of ornament. Some of this ornamentation is ab stract, some
has fauna and flora, some is a unique style of foliate decoration, and some,
of course, is figural sculpture. Romanesque inclinations toward abstract
ornament are well represented in the west and appear also in the Latin kingdom.
The austere decoration of St. Anne's church (pl. XIIIa) converts even the
eminently three 
 30. The plan of St. Mary the Great is published by Vincent and Abel, Jerusalem
nouvelle, vol. II, fasc. 4, p. 957. 

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