1st Edition

Shaping Identities in a Holy Land Crusader Art in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: Patrons and Viewers

By Gil Fishhof Copyright 2024
    376 Pages 75 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In the 88 years between its establishment by the victorious armies of the First Crusade and its collapse following the disastrous defeat at Hattin, the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem was the site of vibrant artistic and architectural activity. As the crusaders rebuilt some of Christendom's most sacred churches, or embellished others with murals and mosaics, a unique and highly original art was created. Focusing on the sculptural, mosaic, and mural cycles adorning some of the most important shrines in the Kingdom (such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, The Basilica of the Annunciation, and the Church of the Nativity), this book offers a broad perspective of Crusader art and architecture.

    Among the many aspects discussed are competition among pilgrimage sites, crusader manipulation of biblical models, the image of the Muslim, and others. Building on recent developments in the fields of patronage studies and reception theory, the book offers a study of the complex ways in which Crusader art addressed its diverse audiences (Franks, indigenous eastern Christians, pilgrims) while serving the intentions of its patrons.

    Of particular interest to scholars and students of the Crusades and of Crusader art, as well as scholars and students of medieval art in general, this book will appeal to all those engaging with intercultural encounters, acculturation, Christian-Muslim relations, pilgrimage, the Holy Land, medieval devotion and theology, Byzantine art, reception theory and medieval patronage.


    1. The Historiography of Crusader Art Revisited: Conceptions and Revolutions

    2. Glorious Past(s) – Tradition, Living-Memory and the Construction of Legitimacy

    3. Holy Sites: Pilgrims, Prestige and Competition

    4. The Image of the Muslim in the Art of the Latin Kingdom – Between Ideology, Demonization and Encounter

    5. Eastern Christians, Byzantine Style and the Pictorial Language of Crusader Art

    6. The Complexities of Patronage

    7. Conclusion – Crusader Art as a Multilayered System



    Gil Fishhof teaches medieval and Crusader art at the Department of Art History, University of Haifa. His main areas of expertise are Romanesque art and architecture in France, art in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, art of the Cluniac order, and questions of medieval patronage and audiences. Together with Einat Segal and Assaf Pinkus he has recently published the edited volume The Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth - Where the Word became Flesh (2020), and with Vardit Shoten-Hallel and Judith Bronstein the volume Settlement and Crusade in the 13th Century - Multidisciplinary Studies of the Latin East (2021).