The Frescoes of Schwarzrheindorf, Arnold of Wied and the Second Crusade
Thanks to the work of several scholars,1 art historians are increasingly familiar with crusader art, the art produced in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Less well known is a related category of medieval art: those monuments in Western Europe that in some way evoke the crusades. Katzenellenbogen was among the first to demonstrate crusading overtones in a work of Romanesque art, the tympanum at Vézelay; more recently O’Meara, Seidel, and Denny have applied similar arguments to other Romanesque works.2 Not surprisingly, most of these monuments were inspired by the triumph of the First Crusade. Though the Second Crusade ended in disaster, it, too, may have at times left its imprint on Romanesque art. This chapter will suggest that the fresco cycle in the lower church of St. Clement, Schwarzrheindorf, was shaped in part by themes articulated during the preaching of the Second Crusade and by the patron’s hope for the ultimate victory of Christendom over the Turks.
KeywordsTwelfth Century Holy Place Similar Phrase Vatican Library Lower Church
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