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Iconography And Identity: Syrian Elements In The Art Of Crusader Cyprus

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Chapter Summary

The murals of triumphal arch in the Church of the Panagia Phorbiotissa, Cyprus, painted in the thirteenth century when Cyprus was a Crusader state, adopt an iconography paralleled not in Byzantium but in the Miaphysite churches of the Syrian and Egyptian mainland. As such, they suggest three revisions to current ways of thinking about the roles of Cyprus and the mainland in shaping the art of the Crusader era: 1) rather than for a 'maniera cypria' or a 'maniera tripolitana', we must look for an intricate, two-way reciprocity; 2) it is a reciprocity not simply between Cyprus and the mainland Crusader states, but between Cyprus and the far larger terrain of Syrian and Egyptian eastern Christendom; and 3) it engages not only style but also iconography and content. This chapter addresses the relation of artistic developments on Syrian mainland to those on the island of Cyprus during the thirteenth century.

Keywords: art; crusader era; Cyprus; Egyptian; Iconography; identity; Miaphysite Churches; Syrian



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