Book Series Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History

Bringing the Holy Land Home

The Crusades, Chertsey Abbey, and the Reconstruction of a Medieval Masterpiece

Amanda Luyster (ed)

  • Pages: 368 p.
  • Size:240 x 240 mm
  • Illustrations:175 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2022

  • c. € 75,00 EXCL. VAT RETAIL PRICE

This volume reveals the impact that art objects manufactured in the Islamic and Byzantine Mediterranean had on the medieval visual culture of England.  It also addresses the complex phenomenon of the Crusades, in which both violence and dynamic cultural interaction coexisted.


Amanda Luyster specializes in the study of the art of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in England and France, with particular attention to secular production and cross-cultural contact with the Islamic and Byzantine worlds.


A carefully-integrated group of studies begins with the so-called “Chertsey” ceramic tiles, depicting combat between King Richard the Lionheart and Saladin.  Found at Chertsey Abbey not far outside London and admired since the nineteenth century, we present here a new reconstruction of both the tiles and their previously-undeciphered Latin texts.  The reconstruction demonstrates not only that the theme of the entire mosaic is the Crusades, but also that the overall appearance of the tiles, when laid as a floor, draws from the composition and iconography of imported Islamic and Byzantine silks.  Essays illuminate specific material contexts that similarly witness western Europe’s, and particularly England’s, engagement with the material culture of the eastern Mediterranean, including ceramics, textiles, relics and reliquaries, metalwork, coins, sculpture, and ivories.


Foreword, Michael Wood

Director's Foreword, Meredith Fluke

Preface: "For we who were Occidentals have now become Orientals", Amanda Luyster

Violence, Persecution, and Cultural Borrowing during the Crusades, Amanda Luyster The Chertsey Tiles, Reassembling Fragments of Meaning, Amanda Luyster A Clash of Civilizations? Diverse Motivations, Multiple Actors, and the Hidden Richness of Muslim Historical Sources, Suleiman Mourad The Crusades: A Short History, David Nicolle "So much national magnificence and national history": The Foundation, Structure, and Fall of Chertsey Abbey, Euan Roger Epic Sensibilities in French art of the Crusader Period, Richard A. Leson Recreating the Holy Land at Home: Relics from the East in England, Cynthia Hahn The Mobility of Fabric: Textiles in and around Medieval Eurasia, Elizabeth Dospel Williams Crusaders in Jerusalem: Frankish Encounters with Idols, Holy Monuments, and Portable Objects, Eva R. Hoffman Oliphants and Elephants: African Ivory in England, Sarah Guerin A Cupbearer Crosses Cultures: Figural Ceramic Traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean, Scott Redford Citizens and Invaders: Encounters with Sculpture in Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, Paroma Chatterjee

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