Ferrande Tower frescoes
Date: ca. 1270
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): France
Description: Ferrande Tower was built in the twelfth century as a fortified tower house in the Provençal town of Pernes-les-Fontaines. Its top story has frescoes of the late thirteenth century illustrating Charles, ruler of the independent French county of Anjou, defeating Manfred, the last king of Sicily from the Hohenstaufen dynasty. In the investiture scene, Pope Clement IV grants Sicily to Charles. The kneeling Charles wears robes covered in the fleur-de-lis of the Capetian dynasty. A large seal dangles from the papal bull. In another image unrelated to the Charles narrative, William of Orange fights the dark-skinned Giant Ysore, known from verse poetry as the ninth-century ruler of the Muslim-held Coimbra (Portugal). The artist may have included this image to associate Charles's crusade in Sicily to earlier Sicilian crusades against Muslim forces. In addition to the historical scenes, there is an image of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child on his shoulders. The inscription informs viewers that looking at the image will provide a day's protection from illness.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 9
Image Credits: Erika Loic
Tags: Status and identity, Connections to the past, Christian, Saints, War, Western European, Heraldry