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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 249

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;
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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