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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 247

Ch. VI RHODES   247 
been the Bailliage du Commerce: it still has considerable decorative work,
including an elaborate pinnacled relief with the arms of Amboise and a doorway
framed in marble; on the lintel an angel holds shields with the arms of Amboise
and the cross of the order, skillful work that suggests Italian workmanship.
A similar Renais sance style is found in the reused marble carvings of a
doorway in the Suleiman mosque, a nineteenth-century reconstruction. Many
of the houses retain windows and doorways of medieval design; a border of
twisted rope pattern recurs constantly, with stylized foliage and sometimes
animals worked in flat relief. Nowhere in the capital of the island, however,
does this kind of domestic façade reach the luxuriance of some of
the late medieval houses in the little town of Lindos. It is a type of ornament
which has already been noted in the niche shrines of Geraki and is curiously
compounded of motifs from many parts. In Lindos it reached its climax and
remained in vogue till modern times.25 
 As with building, so with carving. It is under Aubusson that a new range
of ornamental detail appears, naturalistic foliage carved with some competence,
figures modeled with some feeling for roundness of form, and throughout a
freer undercutting of the detail. Particularly are these changes to be seen
in his great armorial slabs, and it is largely to its heraldry that Rhodes
owes its particular character. A hundred and fifty shields of grand masters
survive, apart from those of other knights on the façades of the auberges.
Cut in white or bluish marble, they stand out magnificently from the rougher
masonry of the walls. It was under Fluvian, the Catalan, in the second quarter
of the fifteenth century, that elaborate surrounds were added to the simple
shield, but his St. George and the Dragon, framed in the rope molding which
here makes its first Rhodian appearance, is a crude work, flat relief without
modeling, clearly by some local hand. A carved fragment in the museum shows,
with finer handling, a combat between a mounted knight and a lion, possibly
a legend of the master Dieudonné of Gozon (1346-1353), rather than
that of St. George, though both combatants defeated a dragon, rather than
a lion-like beast. 
 As in Cyprus, there survive in Rhodes—or in museums elsewhere to which
they have been taken—a number of tomb slabs. 26 As late as 
 25. See above, p. 225, and M. Montesanto, La Citta sacra (Lindo) (Collezione
di opere e di monografie a cura del Ministro delle colonie, no. 12; Rome,
 26. E. Rossi, "Memorie dei cavalieri di Rodi a Constantinopoli," Annuario
della R. Scuola archeologica di Atene... , VIII-IX (1925-1926, pub!. 1929),
331-340; G. Jacopi, "Monumenti di scultura de! Museo archeo!ogico di Rodi,
II," in Clara Rhodos, V-2 (1932), 4 1-43. 

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