The characteristic features of Crusader illumination are found in the illustration of the chevauchée of Melisende and Fulk near Acre and the king’s fatal accident, an event recorded by William of Tyre in Book XV, chapter 27. Hugo Buchthal observed that this image “is the only one that has something of an individual note… The scene, in spite of its crude naiveté, has life and feeling.” The vivid Old French text tells the story of this tragic event:
One day it happened that the queen wished to go outside the city for amusement, near which, in a beautiful spot there were fountains. The king, when he saw that the queen wished to go there, said he would go, and had his horses brought. So he mounted with his company, his nobles and his servants. Together the king and queen and their men rode out; … so many that they flushed out a hare who was lying in a gulley; everyone cried out together. The king saw it, mounted on his battle horse, and riding forth drew his sword to kill the rabbit. This ride resulted in heavy consequences just to catch a rabbit. When he rode along the horse’s legs became entangled with the hare, the horse tripped, threw the king and the king was wounded. The horse landed upside down on the kind and the saddle struck and fractured his head. Everyone who saw the kind fall ran to the place and there were many who gathered around him. They raised him and tried to help him, but to no avail because his brains gushed out of his nostrils and ears … When the queen came to the place where the body lay, she threw herself on him and kissed him where he was the most bloody.