THE CRUSADES 1096-1270
Between 1096 and 1270 the Christian nations undertook eight expeditions to free the Holy Land and Christ’s Sepulchre from the Muslims. Warriors coming from every part of the Christian world took part in the Crusades. They were called Crusades because on their shields , clothes, standards and horse’s caparisons were showing a cross. The war against the infidels started with the First Crusade (1096-1099) proclaimed by Pope Urban II and ended with the capture of Jerusalem and the establishment of a Crusade Kingdom which included the feuds of Tripoli, Edessa and Antioch. The fall of Edessa led to the Second Crusade ( 1147-1149 ) which had no result . The fall of Jerusalem into the hands of Saladin brought to the Third Crusade (1189-1191), and under the leadership of Frederick Redbeard , Philip Augustus of France, and Richard the Lionhart, Acre , in Syria, was seized. The Fourth Crusade (1202-1204), for political and economic reasons, apart from religious ones, was diverted against the Byzantines and led to the conquest of Constantinople
and the creation of the Latin Empire of the East . The Fifth Crusade (1217-1219) brought no results.
The Sixth Crusade (1228-1229) was led by Frederick II of Swabia and the Holy Land was conquered by means of diplomatic negotiation , without any fighting. The Seventh Crusade (1248-1250) was a total failure, in fact even King Louis IX of France ( Saint Louis ) was taken prisoner and on his release abandoned the enterprise . The Eight Crusade saw the death of Louis XI near Tunis, victim of the plague. In 1291 Saint John of Acre , the last Christian fortress in the area , falls back into the Muslim hands.
Painting: Up to the late twelfth century there were no rules governing clothes worn by members of Military Orders. The figurine is wearing an early form of monastic cloak and a conical, one piece helmet. The horse is protected by a caparison similar to the Teutonic type, therefore the modeller may freely think of a Knight belonging to any monastic order which was created in the Crusades period, for example the Templars, the Hospitallers etc…
Care must be taken with the painting of the cross. There is no doubt that the first heraldic symbol in a modern sense was the cross on shields and clothing. In the Holy Land, the Italian Knights wore a pale blue cross, the French a white cross, the Germans a black or orange cross, red for the Spanish, green for the Saxons, reddish-yellow for the English.
Sculptor : Victor Konnov
Historical research and translation : Riccardo Carrabino