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Medieval Studies Carolingian Manuscript Illumination
by
Eric Ramírez-Weaver

Introduction

Away from home during his fourth journey to Rome and in celebration of Christmas Day at the end of the year 800, Charlemagne made his way to Old St. Peter’s basilica at the Vatican Hill. When Pope Leo III (795–816) universally acknowledged the Frankish king from north of the Alps as the emperor of the Romans, not only did Leo recognize and legitimize the interdependence of sacred and secular authority mutually shared by the two leaders. Leo III also gave his imprimatur to the renovatio underway throughout the Frankish lands. Carolingian manuscript illuminations reveal alternatively their emphasis upon a return to classical or Italo-Byzantine illusionism in certain figures and spaces, the decorative refinement of their interlace, the masterful pursuit of the decorative and narrative potential of the historiated initial, and an extensive experimental range of calligraphic or painterly pictorial styles. This diversity of artistic output documents more than a renewal of classical and late Antique pictorial precedents. The vast array of image types and styles of spatial organization reveal instead the inventive legacy of an artistic period in which the foundations not only of medieval but future Western art forms take root. As crafted confessions of Christian piety and the sacred interpretation of the liberal arts, the illustrated codices of the Carolingian era supply a living witness to the sedulous efforts of clerics, scribes, and imported savants from abroad at creating a new Christian culture in central Europe. This curious Frankish cultural admixture was forged by joining its classical and pagan roots to an overt political platform advocating for spiritual orthodoxy and devout Christian praxis. For this reason the kinds of manuscripts illustrated from roughly 751–900 include liturgical books for church use such as evangeliaries or lectionaries (containing the relevant gospel readings for the Mass) or sacramentaries (which are service books with indications of the appropriate rites and prayers) alongside personal prayer books and psalters (with the Psalms). During the Carolingian period, the biblical text was corrected by Alcuin (b. c. 740–d. 804) while he was abbot of St. Martin at Tours and additionally by Theodulf, the bishop of Orléans. The emphasis upon textual correction and emendation contributed to a lavish array of expertly copied, decorated, and at times illuminated biblical books, including pandects (complete one-volume copies) and illustrated gospel books. Traditional approaches to the study of Carolingian manuscript illumination have tended to emphasize through stylistic analyses the various court schools and manuscript-making scriptoria associated with distinct prelates. These abbots and members of the episcopate clustered around themselves important artists who were capable of satisfying the local needs for books, fulfilling royal commissions, and even producing at times manuscripts purposefully intended for economic and evangelistic export. New directions for the exploration of Carolingian manuscript illumination, the full history of which nevertheless remains to be written, continue to explore the complicated collaborations of professional itinerant early-medieval artists who plied their trade following the work, rather than remaining linked forever to the monolithic mandates of an isolated school or scriptorium.

General Overviews

In two decrees of Charlemagne, the fundamental marching orders of the Carolingian reforms were explicitly conveyed to his “soldiers of the church.” This phrase, used by the king in the Epistola de litteris colendis (Letter on the Cultivation of Learning, 780–800), called for an educated populace better capable of advancing the renewal of classical learning along with eloquently proclaiming the evangelistic message of Christendom. Alongside this bellicose exhortation for church leaders to establish good examples through sound grammatical practice, the Admonitio Generalis (General Admonition, 23 March 789) called for the correction and emendation of the psalter, texts, songs, the computus, and the “libri catholici,” or the sacred Catholic (universal) books of the church. In general, the various surveys and appraisals of Carolingian manuscript illumination, which typically tend to canvas all of early medieval art, focus on each of these reform programs and by extension the spiritual mission of the Frankish scriptoria to varying degrees. At the more religious end of this spectrum, Schutz 2004 advocates for a comparative analysis of iconographic types, contextualizing illuminated manuscripts relative to the spiritual significance of Christian themes in other Carolingian artworks. Nearly contemporaneously, Caillet 2005 likewise attempts a holistic approach, and this work is to be celebrated for its encyclopedic inclusivity, superseding the earlier achievement of Beckwith 1969 and Holländer 1974. Caillet 2005 situates the Carolingian manuscript achievement alongside developments in architecture and other media, with an equal attentiveness both to secular political and sacred concerns. Whereas Beckwith 1969 and Holländer 1974 emphasize a stylistic catalogue of major monuments, Caillet 2005 and Nees 2002 alternatively adopt an iconological and thematic approach. Nees 2002 individually addresses the origins both of stylistic trends and the period ideas from discrete cultural traditions (Roman, pagan, Hiberno-Saxon, Byzantine, and early Christian), which gave rise to Carolingian artistic styles manifested by the book arts. Finally, three classic and accessible surveys provide the best overarching introductions to the taxonomic divisions of the various schools of Carolingian manuscript illumination for neophytes: Mütherich and Gaehde 1976, Nordenfalk 1957, and Porcher 1970.

  • Beckwith, John. Early Medieval Art. London: Thames and Hudson, 1969.

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    This is an invaluable introduction to the fundamental terms, schools of Carolingian manuscript illumination, and the most-important political events influencing the development of artistic trends, appropriate for undergraduate surveys. In addition to manuscript illumination, the book addresses diverse media in order to demonstrate the widespread artistic creativity of the fecund Carolingian era.

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  • Caillet, Jean-Pierre. L’Art carolingien. Paris: Éditions Flammarion, 2005.

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    Although unavailable in an English-language edition for students, this survey best contextualizes the Carolingian artworks discussed, while supplying excellent summaries of the state of research on each item adduced. Rather than attempting an adventurous synthesis of the philosophical ideas and discrete cultural precursors that gave rise to Carolingian books (as in Nees 2002), the achievement of this book lies in its expansive approach.

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  • Holländer, Hans. Early Medieval. New York: Universe Books, 1974.

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    Released in 1990 as a volume in the series The Universe History of Art and Architecture, this is a reprinting of a 1974 English translation from the original German, executed by the English firm of George Weidenfeld and Nicolson. The book contains a helpful introduction, which underscores the stylistic diversity of the Carolingian era, admonishing the reader to adopt a contextual approach. Manuscripts arise at the intersection of intellectual and aesthetic concerns, on the one hand, and economic or political exigencies on the other.

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  • Mütherich, Florentine, and Joachim E. Gaehde. Carolingian Painting. New York: George Braziller, 1976.

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    Excellent introduction to the standard divisions of illuminated manuscripts into court schools and monastic centers of production. Judiciously illustrated with good-quality plates for the 1970s and thoroughly introduced by the grand doyenne of Carolingian manuscript studies, Florentine Mütherich. The book offers an accessible and English-language summary of the information developed in the exhaustive series by Wilhelm Koehler and Florentine Mütherich, Die karolingischen Miniaturen (Koehler and Mütherich 1930–2009, cited under Reference Works).

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  • Nees, Lawrence. Early Medieval Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.

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    Most comprehensive and methodologically sound overview of the development of a Carolingian pictorial system, from its roots in late Antiquity through to its full development in the 9th century, sensitively nuancing the contributions of non-Christian communities. The text enables the reader to grapple with essential art-historical debates: word and image, iconoclasm, heterodoxy vs. orthodoxy, artistic identity, tradition vs. innovation, and courtly vs. monastic artistic traditions.

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  • Nordenfalk, Carl. Early Medieval Book Illumination. New York: Skira, 1957.

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    Reprinted in a paperback edition of 1988. This edition is also useful for its account of pre-Carolingian manuscript illumination, including a succinct discussion of Merovingian contributions to the development of Carolingian book arts.

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  • Porcher, Jean. “Book Painting.” In The Carolingian Renaissance. Translated by Stuart Gilbert. Edited by André Malraux, André Parrot, and Albert Beuret, 71–202. New York: George Braziller, 1970.

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    Published as the Carolingian volume in the dated but ever-useful series of publications, The Arts of Mankind, under the editorial direction of André Malraux and André Parrot, supervised by managing editor-in-charge Albert Beuret. This text contains lackluster plates but supplied the definitive introduction to Carolingian manuscript illumination for a generation of scholars in the 1970s. Includes many well-researched names, dates, and historical events surrounding the manufacture of Carolingian codices.

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  • Schutz, Herbert. The Carolingians in Central Europe, Their History, Arts and Architecture: A Cultural History of Central Europe, 750–900. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 2004.

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    Many university libraries provide electronic access to the e-book version of this text, making its current treatment of Carolingian manuscript illumination readily accessible. It fills an important void in many of the alternative accounts of the topic, by situating the study of book arts within and relative to a larger study of early medieval literary and textual traditions.

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Reference Works

Unequivocally, the essential reference work for the study of Carolingian manuscript illumination is the seven-volume series Koehler and Mütherich 1930–2009, cataloguing all the major illustrated codices created during this fertile early medieval period while methodologically foregrounding the workshop activities of various schools and artists. All other works invariably hearken back to the decades of research undertaken by the pair, and subsequent critiques need to be consulted in order to update some of the scholarship in the earlier volumes of the series. For paleographic samples of early Carolingian Latin scripts, which remain a fundamental tool for dating Frankish books and studying their assignments to specific scriptoria, the twelve-volume Lowe 1934–1971 likewise has not been supplanted, only supplemented. Online iconographic, art-historical, and image-based databases supply excellent ways to become rapidly familiar with the expansive literature on and scattered collections of illuminated Carolingian manuscripts. ARTstor is one of the premier image subscription services employed by many schools, universities, and cultural institutions, complementing or digitally backing up traditional slide libraries. The Index of Christian Art uniquely permits users to search by period, theme, or conventional iconographic motif and to compare a set of artworks from diverse media. The International Medieval Bibliography supplies researchers with current comprehensive bibliography on Carolingian topics, inter alia; Mandragore and the Codices Electronici Sangallenses offer site visitors well- researched catalogue entries and virtual access to high-resolution reproductions of many major monuments of Carolingian manuscript illumination. Oxford Art Online/Grove Dictionary of Art offers concise but thorough introductions to key aspects of Carolingian manuscript illumination. The St. Gall Monastery Plan provides an excellent resource for comparative studies of Carolingian manuscript illumination, architecture, and material culture.

  • ARTstor.

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    Although the metadata information cannot always be trusted, the images provide many subscribers with nevertheless helpful and instant access to an uneven variety of visual comparanda. A new “Shared Shelf” option promises to permit subscribers to exchange their visual-resource collections with one another.

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    • Codices Electronici Sangallenses.

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      Complete, current, and ever-expanding free documentation with high-quality virtual facsimiles of Carolingian manuscripts (inter alia) from St. Gall. The astute catalogue documentation is accessible only in German, but the textual apparatus can be changed to English, French, or Italian language platforms.

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      • Index of Christian Art.

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        Since its inception in 1917, facilitated by Charles Rufus Morey, the index has provided the definitive and most comprehensive archive of early Christian through late medieval iconographic types and forms. Bibliographic records supplement the subscription online version of the catalogued image records, permitting comparative synchronic or diachronic studies of Christian art through c. 1550.

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        • International Medieval Bibliography (IMB).

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          Although this is an international subscription service and therefore potentially cost exclusive, the database supplies the most thorough and up-to-date set of bibliographic records on Carolingian manuscript illumination for research conducted since 1968.

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          • Koehler, Wilhelm, and Florentine Mütherich, eds. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. 7 vols. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer/Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft/ Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1930–2009.

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            Although recent scholarship has called into question the methodological accuracy of a monolithic school-based approach to Carolingian manuscript illumination, the taxonomic divisions proposed by Koehler and Mütherich have framed all subsequent debate of the working conditions, political significance, and artistic styles of their proposed periods and centers of Carolingian manuscript illumination. The project remained under the editorial control of Koehler through Volume 3; his passing in 1959 precipitated Mütherich’s subsequent supervisory direction.

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          • Lowe, E. A., ed. Codices latini antiquiores: A Palaeographical Guide to Latin Manuscripts prior to the Ninth Century. 12 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1934–1971.

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            Although later Carolingian manuscripts were never envisioned for inclusion in this collection, the supplemental volume rounds out the otherwise exhaustive series of script samples, facilitating thorough early-medieval manuscript studies. The series is most useful for evaluations of illuminated codices made during the reign of Charlemagne (768–814).

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          • Mandragore.

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            Brings together, in readily accessible, free, online (often complete) virtual facsimiles, many of the great treasures of Carolingian manuscript illumination within the present holdings of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The database can be difficult to interface without previous knowledge of a manuscript shelf location; therefore, first-time users should consult the helpful counsel accessible by selecting hyperlink “Aide.”

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            • Oxford Art Online/Grove Dictionary of Art.

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              Unequivocally, the premier subscription resource for all first inquiries into the state of an art-historical question or the fundamental bibliography that must be consulted and typically supplemented on any relevant topic. The online resource has supplanted the older print edition of the Grove Dictionary of Art, which remains nevertheless useful for its illustrations. Routinely, the older Grove bibliographies are updated in the current Oxford online version.

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              • St. Gall Monastery Plan.

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                The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded the creation of this website. It contextualizes the idealized presentation of Carolingian monastic life witnessed in the plan, relating it to excavated archaeological findspots and early medieval material culture. Available in a German or English language platform, the visual database is supplemented by a complete copy of the problematic yet encyclopedic reference work on the plan in Horn and Born 1979 (cited under Monastic Manuscript Production and St. Gall).

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              Anthologies

              Carolingian manuscript illumination is by its nature an interdisciplinary enterprise, requiring an appreciation of traditional fields of inquiry in the humanities such as art history, classics, numismatics, paleography, philosophy, political history, textual transmission, and theology. Both McKitterick 1994 and McKitterick 1995 provide excellent summarial overviews of the state of many of these subfields with direct bearing upon Carolingian manuscript studies, and the essays remain an important point of departure before students or professional researchers inaugurate more-detailed microanalyses. Similarly, in conjunction with Laffitte and Denoël 2007 (see under Exhibition Catalogues), which is an exhibition resource, Caillet and Laffitte 2009 is an erudite supplement, responding in essence to the school-oriented approach to Carolingian manuscript study in Koehler and Mütherich 1930–2009 (cited under Reference Works). In addition, however, newer revisionist methodological approaches have too emerged as important correctives to outdated interpretations of the ways Franks discussed, wrote about, visualized, and artistically rendered aspects of their 8th- and 9th-century lives, drawing upon alternative methodologies, postmodern philosophical traditions, and gender studies: of note here are Brubaker and Smith 2004, Testo e Immagine nell’Alto Medioevo, Chazelle 1992, and Lowden and Bovey 2007. Certain collections such as Chazelle and Edwards 2003 emphasize the theological and spiritual significance of specific kinds of manuscripts such as Bibles. Finally, two important anthologies directly addressed the cultural and political realities of life during the reigns of Louis the Pious (Godman and Collins 1990) and Charles the Bald (Gibson and Nelson 1990). Even when the essays in such volumes fail to bear directly on the illustrations in Carolingian manuscripts, they confer the requisite conceptual apparatus upon the reader, who can then apply new methodological paradigms to alternative painted programs and pictorial cycles.

              • Brubaker, Leslie, and Julia M. H. Smith, eds. Gender in the Early Medieval World: East and West, 300–900. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

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                The articles of Part 2 provide the best examples of methodologically apposite applications of gender theory to early medieval studies and therefore establish model paradigms for undergraduates or specialists to follow.

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              • Caillet, Jean-Pierre, and Marie-Pierre Laffitte, eds. Les Manuscrits Carolingiens: Actes du colloque de Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, le 4 mai 2007. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2009.

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                Essays include an introduction to the development of Carolingian manuscript illumination, by Jean-Pierre Caillet. Conservators could benefit from the analysis of Carolingian colors, by Patricia Roger. Lawrence Nees expands the discussion of Carolingian codices to include their book covers and related artworks in ivory. Herbert Kessler reminds that all visualizations of biblical themes and scriptural composition are in the final analysis records of period understanding.

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              • Chazelle, Celia M., ed. Literacy, Politics, and Artistic Innovation in the Early Medieval West: Papers Delivered at “A Symposium on Early Medieval Culture,” Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1992.

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                Although seemingly dated, each essay in the anthology addresses a central theme of vital importance for studies of early medieval manuscripts, the full impact remaining yet to be considered. Seth Lerer reminds that emphasis is a creative intervention in textual transmission, while Thomas Noble discusses the spiritual example of a Frankish king, and Lawrence Nees underscores aspects of Carolingian creativity.

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              • Chazelle, Celia, and Burton Van Name Edwards, eds. The Study of the Bible in the Carolingian Era. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2003.

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                Importantly addresses biblical exegesis during the Carolingian period. William J. Diebold’s contribution examines correspondences between exegetical interpretation of the New Testament, the erection of architecture, and the work of the Church Triumphant, as a novel and rarely considered aspect of Carolingian aesthetic theory.

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              • Gibson, Margaret T., and Janet L. Nelson, eds. Charles the Bald: Court and Kingdom. 2d ed. Aldershot, UK: Variorum, 1990.

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                Introduction to the period and cultural production of Charles the Bald (d. 877), with an emphasis on textual sources and material culture. The tendency in recent scholarship to integrate philosophical and theological considerations into exegeses of manuscript illumination makes the essays by David Ganz and John Marenbon particularly useful. Key contributions to art history include the articles by Roger E. Reynolds on the Drogo Sacramentary, by Rosamond McKitterick on the court school, and by Lawrence Nees on the Cathedra Petri.

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              • Godman, Peter, and Roger Collins, eds. Charlemagne’s Heir: New Perspectives on the Reign of Louis the Pious (814–40). Oxford: Clarendon, 1990.

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                Introduction to cultural activity during the first half of the 9th century. Florentine Mütherich makes clear that manuscript illumination did not wane during the reign of Louis the Pious, although his influence appears limited curiously to antiquarian, or even literary and scientific, codices such as the Leiden Aratea. This theme is renewed in Melzak 1990 (cited under Courtly Art Linked to Louis the Pious and Lothar), an essay linking the antiquarian spirit to Metz.

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              • Lowden, John, and Alixe Bovey, eds. Under the Influence: The Concept of Influence and the Study of Illuminated Manuscripts. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2007.

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                Studies investigate the pertinence of Michael Baxandall’s intertwining critiques of artistic intentionality and influence for medieval manuscript illumination. See Lawrence Nees’s chapter, “Godescalc’s Career and the Problems of ‘Influence’” (pp. 21–44), which provides a model for the recreation of a Carolingian artist’s biography (Nees 2007, cited under Courtly Art Linked to Aachen and Charlemagne), and David Ganz’s chapter, “The Vatican Vergil and the Jerome Page in the First Bible of Charles the Bald” (pp. 45–50, 204–205), which examines the significance of David Wright’s discovery that artists in Tours had copied images from the Vatican Vergil (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Vat. lat. 3225).

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              • McKitterick, Rosamond, ed. Carolingian Culture: Emulation and Innovation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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                Thorough introductions to various aspects of Carolingian culture and political identity, by prominent experts at the time of the book’s composition. George Henderson rightly underscores the complete interpenetration of sacred and secular concerns for Carolingian patrons and their artists, while he catalogues examples of Carolingian creative output and notes novel and inventive aspects of Frankish art.

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              • McKitterick, Rosamond, ed. The New Cambridge Medieval History. Vol. 2, Ca. 700–900. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995.

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                Definitive compilation supplying detailed summaries with bibliographies for all aspects of Carolingian art and culture. The essay by Lawrence Nees provides a thorough yet concise introduction to Carolingian art and architecture. The essay should be read in tandem with the contribution by John J. Contreni, which summarizes his ideas about the history of Frankish education that can otherwise also be difficult to locate.

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              • Testo e Immagine nell’Alto Medioevo, 15–21 aprile 1993. 2 vols. Settimane di Studio del Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo. Spoleto, Italy: Presso la Sede del Centro, 1994.

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                Seminal art-theoretical reappraisals of the role and nature of illumination in manuscripts for the Frankish lands, by conference attendees Beat Brenk, Michael Camille, Christoph Eggenberger, Ann Freeman, Herbert Kessler, and Michael McCormick.

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              Journals

              The gold standard for all art-historical scholarship remains the College Art Association’s Art Bulletin, but the significance and prestige of this publication should not overshadow the exciting and occasionally more adventurous essays appearing in journals devoted to the medieval period and manuscript studies. Gesta, Early Medieval Europe, Manuscripta, and Studies in Iconography regularly publish articles devoted to early medieval art and culture, while Speculum traditionally has offered its readership compelling interdisciplinary evaluations of medieval historical matters, bearing directly at times on the development of early medieval cultural traditions. Given the British, French, German, Italian, and Netherlandish historical connections and geographic links to the former Frankish lands of the Carolingian Empire, along with the subsequent vagaries of book collecting that led many Carolingian manuscripts to the libraries and repositories of these nations, it is not surprising that certain European journals with an international readership are important to consult: for example, Arte Medievale, Scriptorium, and the Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte. Occasionally, given the current hegemonic status of English among academic circles, these journals also include English-language resources accessible to broader audiences. Alongside the articles that continue to be published within these prestigious publications, it is also important to recall that numerous defunct and regional or museum-based journals and publications have contributed directly to the development of seminal research projects and the wider dissemination of Carolingian topics and themes. Some of these will be found in the bibliographies specifically focused upon individual manuscript scriptoria and should be consulted without reservation.

              • Art Bulletin.

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                Double-blind, peer-reviewed journal that has been one of the premier publishing venues for art historians in the United States since its inception in 1913. Quarterly publication affiliated with the primary professional organization for art historians and creators, the College Art Association, the journal publishes conservative or methodologically diverse, soundly researched articles. Widely available via JSTOR and other Internet resources.

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              • Arte Medievale.

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                Double-blind, peer-reviewed journal of the highest caliber, devoted to all aspects of medieval art history. Affiliated with the university press of “La Sapienza,” L’Università degli Studi in Rome, Italy. The new series of the journal began in 2002.

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              • Early Medieval Europe.

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                Interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal for early medieval studies, which regularly showcases novel interpretations of art and culture, including essays on art history, epigraphy, numismatics, archaeology, paleography, and literary arts. The academic rigor and attention to historical detail demanded of the articles make back issues worthy reference tools. The journal is accessible by several popular electronic databases, notably the Wiley Online Library.

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              • Gesta.

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                Double-blind, peer-reviewed journal representing one directive of the educational mission of the International Center of Medieval Art, and active since 1963. From the outset it was intended as a forum for established and new voices plus alternative or novel approaches to the study of the art and culture of the three Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) from c. 250–c. 1500 CE, originating in many western European countries.

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              • Manuscripta.

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                The Vatican Film Library at St. Louis University began a double-blind, peer-reviewed journal devoted to medieval and Renaissance manuscript studies in 1957. Although not so well known, this journal always displays academic rigor, with special areas of research interest, including codicology, decoration, epigraphy, illumination, paleography, textual studies, and library history.

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              • Scriptorium.

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                Double-blind, peer-reviewed journal since its inception in 1946, one of the premier forums for the discussion of medieval manuscripts from western, eastern, and central European sites of manufacture. Includes cataloguing projects, bibliography, investigative analyses of textual transmission, manuscript illumination, paleography, and the history of book collecting. Sponsored by the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes, based in Paris, France.

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              • Speculum.

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                Original periodical for all aspects of medieval studies in North America. Quarterly, double-blind, peer-reviewed essays have manifested excellence and erudition since 1926. Although western European cultural history predominates, the contributions of Jewish, Islamic, Arabic, Byzantine, and eastern European medieval peoples to historic developments in the West are also reviewed for the period lasting roughly 500–1500. Back issues are available on the popular Internet service JSTOR, following a five-year delay.

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              • Studies in Iconography.

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                Double-blind, peer-reviewed journal affiliated with the Index of Christian Art at Princeton University (since 1999) and Medieval Institute Publications of Western Michigan University, home of the annual International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Essays cover all aspects of the Middle Ages, with a particular emphasis on diverse methodological and art-historical interpretations of medieval art and culture.

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              • Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte.

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                Double-blind, peer-reviewed journal with articles canvassing all aspects of art history. Given Germanic interest (ranging from nationalistic to local and historical over the decades) in the Carolingian empire and Frankish art history, this journal can be a helpful resource.

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              Exhibition Catalogues

              Premier exhibitions at major museums and libraries with significant holdings of illuminated Carolingian manuscripts have contributed significantly to the advancement of scholarship concerning these painted books. In this regard, the postwar cataloguing project benefited tremendously from the landmark exhibition in Aachen (Braunfels 1965). Carl Nordenfalk’s entries on Carolingian manuscripts remain an excellent summarial introduction to individual codices, although the bibliographic references are naturally outdated. That said, with so many Internet resources and search engines highlighting more-recent scholarship, the catalogue supplies a handy reference tool for identifying older sources, ever worthy of consultation. In this light, Laffitte and Denoël 2007 performs the opposite task and likewise brings the bibliographic annotations in its catalogue entries up to date; moreover, it provides compelling, erudite discussions of the state of the field in the authors’ collected essays on discrete schools of Carolingian book manufacture. Laffitte and Denoël 2007 also updated the extraordinarily rich two-volume Stiegemann and Wemhoff 1999, but the earlier catalogue included complementary essays that continue to provide important starting points for appropriately nuanced discussions of Carolingian manuscripts within their contextualized cultural milieu. The atypical thematic emphasis on cultural renewal in the exhibition brought to the foreground scientific and educational considerations, which were also celebrated in a more focused way in Irblich 1993, although the latter also includes manuscripts without major pictorial programs. Focusing similarly on the philosophical or theological concerns surrounding Carolingian manuscript illumination, Fried and Saurma-Jeltsch 1994 situates book painting within the larger intellectual debates of the Franks. Although emphasizing the calligraphic qualities of line during the medieval period, Holcomb 2009 supplies another valuable resource for students of early medieval manuscript illumination to consult. Lastly, two exhibitions highlighted instead the individual cultural achievement of specific regional Carolingian centers, providing unprecedented access to material from Laon (Lefebvre 1987), or an excellent English-language introduction to the Carolingian book arts celebrating Reims’s artistic legacy (van der Horst, et al. 1996).

              • Braunfels, Wolfgang, ed. Karl der Große: Werk und Wirkung. Düsseldorf: Schwann, 1965.

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                The catalogue accompanying the Aachen exhibition congregated the then-leading experts in Carolingian studies worldwide. Carl Nordenfalk’s eighty-five-page section on manuscript illumination still provides a useful introduction to the field, emphasizing the illuminated manuscript as a quintessential medium of medieval expression. The influence of Byzantine artists at court was of interest, and Charlemagne supplied both a cultural linchpin and catalyst to renewal in all artistic media.

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              • Fried, Johannes, and Lieselotte E. Saurma-Jeltsch, eds. 794: Karl der Große in Frankfurt am Main: Ein König bei der Arbeit. Sigmaringen, Germany: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 1994.

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                The exhibition provided contextualization for illustrated Carolingian codices, from the standpoints of cultural heritage, liturgical and spiritual renewal, theological concerns of Adoptionism and iconoclasm, and fiscal reform during the reign of Charlemagne.

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              • Holcomb, Melanie, ed. Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009.

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                This groundbreaking exhibition of medieval drawing included early medieval material, and the catalogue supplied an important English-language appraisal of the medieval ductus, noteworthy for exhaustive examinations of manuscript illumination. The ongoing web presence supplements significantly the content of the catalogue.

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              • Irblich, Eva, ed. Karl der Große und die Wissenschaft. Vienna: Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, 1993.

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                Includes the Dagulf Psalter and a lavishly illustrated astronomical-computistical encyclopedia (Cod. 387).

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              • Laffitte, Marie-Pierre, and Charlotte Denoël, eds. Trésors carolingiens: Livres manuscrits de Charlemagne à Charles le Chauve. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2007.

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                Essential resource for Carolingian manuscript illumination, providing extended catalogue entries, current bibliography, and expertly contextualized material in an accessible format for laymen (who can read French). Scholars should also consult the essays on the history of collecting and descriptions of the ways the books were used, organized, or created. Most important recent exhibition of Carolingian manuscripts, rivaled in scope and significance solely by the Aachen exhibition of 1965, the catalogue of which is in Braunfels 1965.

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              • Lefebvre, Jean, ed. Laon: Citadelle royale carolingienne. Laon, France: ABM, 1987.

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                Of particular note are the relatively unknown Isidorean cosmological manuscripts (such as Laon, MS 422 and 423) and the splendid gospel book from Tours (Laon, MS 63).

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              • Stiegemann, Christoph, and Matthias Wemhoff, eds. 799, Kunst und Kultur der Karolingerzeit: Karl der Große und Papst Leo III. in Paderborn. 2 vols. Mainz, Germany: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1999.

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                Rather than privileging Charlemagne as a cultural lodestone to which talent was attractively summoned, this exhibition critically reexamined all aspects of cross-cultural exchange during the Carolingian period, opening up many new avenues for further research, including the maritime influence of the North Sea and English Channel.

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              • van der Horst, Koert, William Noel, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld, eds. The Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David. London: Harvey Miller, 1996.

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                Essays contextualize manuscript illumination in and around the metropolitan of Reims, along with the Nachleben of the Utrecht Psalter in England, one of the premier monuments of medieval drawing and Carolingian manuscript art (see Utrecht Psalter and Carolingian Creativity). Extended catalogue entries provide up-to-date introductions with bibliographies for major illuminated books, and Reims illumination is expertly introduced in an essay by Florentine Mütherich.

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              Historical Sources

              In order to properly contextualize Carolingian book illumination, it is incumbent upon the reader to refer to standard biographical and historical resources, all of which are available in English translation. Canvassing Carolingian cultural history from Pepin the Short (the Younger) (d. 768) to Charles the Fat (d. 888), Dutton 2009 is a comprehensive, well- edited anthology providing English-language translations for texts, ranging from biographies of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious to examples of the personal correspondence drafted by Lupus of Ferrières or Theodulf’s poetry. Davis-Weyer 1986 offers classrooms and students the best guide to excerpted and expertly translated passages in English, treating the history of early medieval art and culture, including architecture. More-focused resources divide between royal biographies, books of laws, and histories of various sorts. Cabaniss 1961 provides a translation of the Vita Hludovici drafted by the so-called Astronomer. Ganz 2008 updates and supplants the nevertheless still-useful Thorpe 1969, a joint translation of the same two accounts of Charlemagne’s life, the Vita Karoli and Gesta Karoli, by Einhard and Notker the Stammerer, respectively. Dutton 1998 supplies the definitive edition of Einhard’s biography of Charlemagne, however, with thorough introductory notes and supplemental texts in translation. Drew 1991 offers an excellent explanatory introduction accompanying a full translation of the Lex Salica, or the punitive Frankish code of law. Finally, Scholz 1972 rounds out this picture of Carolingian life, with an English translation of the Annales Regni Francorum (Royal Frankish Annals) and the Histories of Nithard.

              • Cabaniss, Allen, trans. Son of Charlemagne: A Contemporary Life of Louis the Pious. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1961.

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                The anonymous author of this biography was allegedly neither Frank nor Goth and lived c. 800 to after 843, adding a putative element of objectivity to his report. Like Einhard’s life of Charlemagne (Dutton 1998, Ganz 2008), the text reveals the influence of courtiers on propagandistic interpretations of Carolingian life.

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              • Davis-Weyer, Caecilia, ed. Early Medieval Art, 300–1150: Sources and Documents. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986.

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                Originally appeared in the Prentice-Hall (1971) series under the editorial direction of H. W. Janson: Sources and Documents in the History of Art. This anthology is the standard resource for English-speaking classrooms, inexpensively offering nearly all the quintessential excerpts treating the image theory, architecture, and monumental decorative programs that contributed to the formation of a Christian visual vocabulary from the beginnings of early Christian art until the Romanesque period.

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              • Drew, Katherine Fischer, trans. The Laws of the Salian Franks. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991.

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                Complete translations into English of the Merovingian 6th-century Pactus Legis Salicae and the second legal version of the Lex Salica Karolina, revised at Charlemagne’s behest in the early 9th century. These are fundamental resources for the understanding of Carolingian cultural values, of particular use for iconographic discussions of social interaction and paganism in certain manuscript illuminations.

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              • Dutton, Paul Edward, trans. and ed. Charlemagne’s Courtier: The Complete Einhard. Peterborough, Canada: Broadview, 1998.

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                More than a translation of the oeuvre of an early medieval courtier, this celebration of Einhard also contextualizes artistic life at the court of Charlemagne and reveals the educated sophistication to which monastically trained but married lay elites could aspire in the 9th century. This edition emphasizes Einhard’s artistic endeavors.

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              • Dutton, Paul Edward, trans. and ed. Carolingian Civilization: A Reader. 2d ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009.

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                Originally published in 1993 by Broadview Press, this remains a readily accessible and comprehensive anthology containing the vital texts for understanding Carolingian art and culture, in translations culled from numerous (often difficult to procure) sources. This volume is indispensable for students of Carolingian manuscript illumination, canvassing the entire period from the mid-8th to the late 9th centuries.

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              • Ganz, David, trans. Einhard and Notker the Stammerer: Two Lives of Charlemagne. London: Penguin, 2008.

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                Best inexpensive, modern translation of Einhard’s Vita, expertly introduced and annotated for undergraduate and graduate student coursework, with supporting genealogy and a map.

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              • Scholz, Bernhard Walter, trans. Carolingian Chronicles: Royal Frankish Annals and Nithard’s Histories. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1972.

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                Fundamental historical resource that helps students understand the sociopolitical realities of Carolingian courtly life from the reign of Charlemagne to the turbulent tumult of the civil wars fought by Louis the Pious’s sons, covering the period 741–843. Both advance a Charles-centric perspective, first celebrating Charlemagne in the Annals and then Charles the Bald in the Histories.

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              • Thorpe, Lewis, trans. Einhard and Notker the Stammerer: Two Lives of Charlemagne. London: Penguin, 1969.

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                This translation situates the two lives of Charlemagne within their historical contexts, providing undergraduate readers a more helpful foray into the texts.

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              Contributions to the Development of Carolingian Book Painting

              Since Porcher 1967, it has been apparent that it is impossible to appreciate the impact of the Carolingian renovatio on manuscript illumination without first considering book decoration in the years leading up to the coronation of Charlemagne as king in 768. Porcher 1967 established the twin trajectories that subsequent discussions of pre-Carolingian manuscript painting would follow. Classical antecedents exist alongside indigenous “barbarian” influences. These were reinterpreted during exchanges between the British Isles and the European mainland, along lines following the monastic Hiberno-Saxon evangelization efforts of Columbanus (d. 615) to Bobbio (founded 612), Luxeuil (c. 593), and ultimately St. Gall (c. 613). Pre-Carolingian artists celebrated bird-and-fish motifs (in use for textual embellishment according to Pliny the Younger since the first century) but drew upon diverse source materials in novel and creative ways. Merovingian pictorial influences were Middle Eastern, Hiberno-Saxon, late Antique, local to Gaul, or Italo-Byzantine. Besseyre 2007 updates the research program in Porcher 1967, underscoring the stylistic convergence of eastern Mediterranean and Hiberno-Saxon or Irish tradition in a book such as the Echternach Gospels, c. 700, but notes these convergences cannot assure a Continental rather than Northumbrian origin. Netzer 1994 argues compellingly, however, that the Trier Gospels (c. 720) were made in Echternach (founded by Willibrord, 697–698) through a collaboration between a Frankish Merovingian scribe and a scribal painter named Thomas, trained in Insular book arts. This interaction documents a fertile phase of Frankish, pre-Carolingian book art. Besseyre 2007 and Baert 1998 consider the Gellone Sacramentary (c. 790 from Meaux, or possibly Cambrai) to be a harbinger of the creative Carolingian spirit. Baert 1998 investigates the Discovery of the True Cross illustrated in Gellone, revealing unexpected theological and iconographic complexity. Nees 1987 similarly compares the Maiestas Domini miniature of the Gundohinus Gospels (made c. 754 during the reign of Charlemagne’s father Pepin) and a text by Jerome, De Trinitate, which was purposefully juxtaposed with the image. Pre-Carolingian scribes and painters were aware of layout and design, emphasizing the interplay of text and image. Rehm 2002 studies the innovative spirit of Corbie artists. They made the eponymous psalter now in Amiens (c. 800) at the outset of Carolingian interest in historiated initials with profound mnemotechnic text-image relationships. Wright 2001 underscores the North Sea as a waterway that united northern European spheres of artistic influence, through the author’s study of the illustration for Psalm 51, which may very well link dragons and the Leviathan to Viking vessels. Alternatively, influence from the Appenine Peninsula on the book arts north of the Alps seems an incontrovertible sine qua non for further Carolingian developments in painting. Belting 1967 still supplies the most nuanced statement of the role of Italian manuscripts on Carolingian manuscript illumination, arguing that Godescalc’s Lectionary (781–783) inspired from the same kinds of 8th-century Italo-Byzantine forms revealed by the portrait of Gregory the Great in the Egino Codex (made in Verona in the late 8th century).

              • Baert, Barbara. “Le sacramentaire de Gellone (750–790) et l’Invention de la Croix: L’Image entre le symbole et l’histoire.” Arte Cristiana 86 (1998): 449–460.

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                Detailed iconographic study of the Discovery of the True Cross, which underscores Frankish creativity in the Gellone Sacramentary (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 12048, c. 790). The essay also supplies an excellent introduction to the standard Merovingian iconography of a cross under an arch in painted manuscripts of the period.

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              • Belting, Hans. “Probleme der Kunstgeschichte Italiens im Frühmittelalter.” Frühmittelalterliche Studien 1 (1967): 94–143.

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                The Egino Codex (Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, MS Phill. 1676) from late-8th-century Verona attests to the perpetuity of painterly sophistication in Italy during the early medieval period. There is no better resource for understanding the influence of Italo-Byzantine precursors on Carolingian manuscript illumination.

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              • Besseyre, Marianne. “Aux origines du livre carolingien: Influences et héritages (cat. 1 à 7).” In Trésors carolingiens: Livres manuscrits de Charlemagne à Charles le Chauve. Edited by Marie-Pierre Laffitte and Charlotte Denoël, 61–83. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2007.

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                Concise introduction to Merovingian and pre-Carolingian manuscript illumination, with superior plates, situating the early material in relationship to the later development of Carolingian book painting.

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              • Nees, Lawrence. “Image and Text: Excerpts from Jerome’s ‘De Trinitate’ and the Maiestas Domini Miniature of the Gundohinus Gospels.” Viator 18.1 (1987): 1–22.

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                Argues for the juxtaposition of a late-4th-century text by Jerome, De Trinitate, and Maiestas Domini miniature (Gundohinus Gospels, Autun, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 3, c. 754), informing about Frankish reactions to Byzantine iconoclasm and Christological imagery in gospel books. This shorter study is ideal to assign in seminars and suitably supplements Nees’s monograph on the subject: Lawrence Nees, The Gundohinus Gospels (Cambridge, MA: The Medieval Academy of America, 1987).

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              • Netzer, Nancy. Cultural Interplay in the Eighth Century: The Trier Gospels and the Making of a Scriptorium at Echternach. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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                Groundbreaking study of cross-cultural interaction and influence in the scriptorium of Echternach in the 8th century, which confirms through detailed iconographic analyses a predilection for a Hiberno-Saxon aesthetic combined with an interest in more-natural forms on the part of the chief scribe and artist, Thomas. His Frankish scribal assistant worked closely with him in an apparent master-pupil relationship on the Trier Gospels (Trier, Cathedral Treasury, MS 61, c. 720).

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              • Porcher, Jean. “Les manuscrits à peinture.” In L’Europe des Invasions. Edited by André Malraux, André Parrot, Jean Porcher, Jean Hubert, and W. F. Vollbach, 105–206. Paris: Gallimard, 1967.

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                Still the most thorough (albeit now outdated) introduction to the study of pre-Carolingian painting and the influential regional traditions that informed its development. This volume is also available in an English edition, published in the United Kingdom as Europe in the Dark Ages (London: Thames & Hudson, 1969), or alternatively in the United States as Europe of the Invasions (New York: G. Braziller, 1969). Each volume offers the same translation by Stuart Gilbert and James Emmons.

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              • Rehm, Ulrich. “Der Körper der Stimme: Überlegungen zur historisierten Initiale karolingischer Zeit.” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 65.4 (2002): 441–459.

                DOI: 10.2307/4150671Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Following a discussion of the development of the historiated initial in Carolingian art, the illustration of the Corbie Psalter is discussed to underscore the utility of such initials for memory work. The creative opportunities accorded the artists of the Corbie Psalter (Amiens, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 18) resulted in sophisticated text-image relationships. This is the best introduction to the rich cycle of initials in the Corbie Psalter.

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              • Wright, Rosemary Muir. “The Rider on the Sea-Monster: ‘Quid glorias in militia.’” In The North Sea World in the Middle Ages: Studies in the Cultural History of Northwestern Europe. Edited by Thomas R. Liszka and Lorna E. M. Walker, 70–87. Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts, 2001.

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                The iconography of the historiated initial for Psalm 51 in the Corbie Psalter (Amiens, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 18, folio 46r) pictorially documents a mutual reliance upon exegetical treatises and the experiences of northern Frankish artists who conceptually conflated the dragon ships of Viking marauders with an innovative presentation of the Antichrist. Pre- and early Carolingian art was inspired from local and distant models but creatively reconsidered.

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              Courtly Art Linked to Aachen and Charlemagne

              Koehler 1958 argued in its introduction to the illuminated Ada Group that “the group of manuscripts [belonging to the court school of Charlemagne] . . . is small . . . but their significance is extraordinary.” Indeed, it is impossible to conceive of the early development of the Carolingian book arts (780–814) without this fundamental group, and one is at pains to consider future European painting without them. Koehler 1960 assessed the alternate direction that art at the court school could take under the influence of classicizing Byzantine master painters such as Demetrius Presbyter, who signed his work opposite the evangelist portrait of Luke in the Vienna Coronation Gospels (before 800). The Coronation Gospel Group was a problematic set of manuscripts with contested dates and sites of origin until Koehler 1960 established their coexistent independence from the official Ada Court School style in Aachen, through a detailed analysis of the textual transmission of the Carolingian Gospel text, confirmed by subsequent stylistic analyses. Importantly, this result undermines the mythos that a court school is exclusive and hegemonic, since alternative ateliers could spring up in Aachen itself. Koehler 1960 identifies the manuscripts of the Vienna Coronation Gospels Group (made 795–810) as Vienna Coronation Gospels, Weltliche Schatzkammer; Aachen Cathedral Schatzkammer; Brescia, Bibl. Civica Queriniana, Cod. E. II. 9; and Brussels, Bibl. Royale 18723 (olim 462). The lavish illuminations of the manuscripts from the Ada group in the Parisian Bibliothèque nationale de France are averred, and their painterly significance is both well articulated and illustrated with excellent plates in Laffitte 2007, which updates the classic treatment of the court school in Mütherich 1965 (which closely followed Koehler 1958 and Koehler 1960). These books include the early Godescalc Gospel Lectionary (BnF, Ms. n.a.l. 1203, 781–783) and the mature work of the court school seen in the Soissons Gospels (BnF, Ms. lat. 8850, c. 800). Mayr-Harting 1992 also summarizes these developments, with keen, incisive comments, contextualizing the role of Charlemagne as a patron of the arts who commissioned lavish gospel books with canon tables, evangelist portraits, and initium pages. Mayr-Harting 1992 likewise underscores that Charlemagne’s influence probably affected manuscript production, resulting in manuscripts with limited scenes of the life of Christ and an explicit emphasis on the word revealed through the ubiquitous evangelist portraits depicted in the act of writing. The reform of the script and the development of Caroline miniscule are parallel developments, contributing to the proliferation of accurately rendered illuminated manuscripts worthy of spiritual study, as argued in Bischoff 1994 (which should be read in tandem with McKitterick 1990). In order to flesh out the understanding of the pictorial word from Charlemagne’s court, Nees 2007 attempts a biography of the painter Godescalc and his oeuvre. Although manuscript facsimiles are often inaccessible, Holter 1980 treats the decorative Dagulf Psalter (c. 795), designated as a gift for Pope Adrian I (772–795), and supplies additional information about the development of the court school of Charlemagne.

              • Bischoff, Bernhard. “Manuscripts in the Age of Charlemagne.” In Manuscripts and Libraries in the Age of Charlemagne. Translated and edited by Michael Gorman, 20–55. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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                Originally appeared as “Panorama der Handschriftenüberlieferung aus der Zeit Karls des Großen,” in Karl der Große: Lebenswerk und Nachleben, Vol. 2, Das geistige Leben, edited by Bernhard Bischoff (Düsseldorf: Verlag L. Schwann, 1965), pp. 233–254. Follows the development of scribal styles and scriptoria throughout the Frankish lands during the reign of Charlemagne, by surveying various regions, or “writing provinces.”

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              • Holter, Kurt. Der Goldene Psalter, “Dagulf Psalter,” Vollständige Faksimile-Ausgabe in Originalformat von Codex 1861 der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- und Verlaganstalt, 1980.

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                Complete facsimile of one of the important records of the court school of Charlemagne, arguing for a date in the years immediately before 795. The descriptive material contextualizes the use of purple pages, metallic lettering, the hierarchy of scripts, and other key aspects of nonfigural Carolingian decoration utilized by the scribe, Dagulf.

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              • Koehler, Wilhelm. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Vol. 2, Die Hofschule Karls des Grossen. Berlin: Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 1958.

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                Definitive statement of the court school of Charlemagne, often referred to as the Ada group.

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              • Koehler, Wilhelm. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Vol. 3, Part 1: Die Gruppe des Wiener Krönungs-Evangeliars; Part 2: Metzer Handschriften. Berlin: Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 1960.

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                Detailed textual and stylistic argumentation supporting the localization of the Vienna Coronation Gospels atelier in Aachen. Koehler moots the fascinating thesis that perhaps the classicizing illuminators under the influence of Byzantine artists were linked somehow to artisans’ workshops in the city.

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              • Laffitte, Marie-Pierre. “Les manuscrits impériaux: Ateliers, dons et commandes, trésors et bibliothèques (cat. 8 à 18).” In Trésors carolingiens: Livres manuscrits de Charlemagne à Charles le Chauve. Edited by Marie-Pierre Laffitte and Charlotte Denoël, 85–119. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2007.

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                Best plates for the analysis of the Godescalc Gospel Lectionary (BnF, Ms. n.a.l. 1203, 781–783) and the Soissons Gospels (BnF, MS lat. 8850, c. 800), with thorough updated bibliographies. A possible addition to the Ada group of the court school is proposed: St-Denis Gospels, BnF, MS lat. 9387, late 8th century.

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              • Mayr-Harting, Henry. “Charlemagne as Patron of Art.” In The Church and the Arts. Edited by Diana Wood, 43–77. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992.

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                Includes a convenient timeline of court school production. Situates the production of illuminated manuscripts alongside the developments in ivories, which offers a holistic but succinct introduction to the iconographic themes and artistic styles of interest to Charlemagne. Curiously, the lack of Christological imagery in the manuscripts is supplemented by an interest in such scenes among carvers of ivory. The author situates this problematic within the context of the debate over iconoclasm.

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              • McKitterick, Rosamond. “Carolingian Book Production: Some Problems.” The Library, 6th ser., 12.1 (1990): 1–33.

                DOI: 10.1093/library/s6-12.1.1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Carefully follows the development of Caroline miniscule from 8th-century Corbie to the court school of Charlemagne and beyond, confirming its role as an index of pragmatic reform programs.

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              • Mütherich, Florentine. “Die Buchmalerei am Hofe Karls des Grossen.” In Karl der Große: Lebenswerk und Nachleben. Vol. 3, Karolingische Kunst. Edited by Wolfgang Braunfels and Hermann Schnitzler, 9–53. Düsseldorf: Verlag L. Schwann, 1965.

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                Thorough summary of the state of the question in 1965 concerning Carolingian manuscript illumination at the court of Charlemagne. The essay brought the contributions by Koehler in Die karolingischen Miniaturen up to date, and the information continues to provide a succinct statement of artistic development at the court school, since most later treatments of the subject remain footnotes to Mütherich and Koehler.

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              • Nees, Lawrence. “Godescalc’s Career and the Problems of ‘Influence.’” In Under the Influence: The Concept of Influence and the Study of Illuminated Manuscripts. Edited by John Lowden and Alixe Bovey, 21–44. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2007.

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                Emphasizes the extent to which stylistic analysis can be meaningfully used to make attributions of early medieval painterly oeuvres analogous to modern connoisseurial practice. Nees thereby recreates a possible artistic life for Godescalc, who painted the Lectionary in Paris (BnF, Ms. n.a.l. 1203, 781–783).

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              Courtly Art Linked to Louis the Pious and Lothar

              Following the death of Charlemagne in 814, the apparent dearth of illuminated manuscripts awaited the clarifications of Mütherich 1990, which identified a conservative court school at work in Aachen for Louis the Pious (d. 840). This artistic cohort was not linked to the Vienna Coronation Gospels group (which manifested Byzantine influence in the evangelist portraits) but did reveal a taste for the past, in keeping with an “antiquarian interest” cultivated at Aachen and satisfying Louis’s not exclusively pious predilection for scientific texts and classical themes. The stylistic affinities between the image of David in the Lothar Psalter (made after 842 for Louis’s son, Lothar I, d. 855) and the image of the constellation Cepheus from the Leiden Aratea are adequate to justify a continuity of high-quality artistic production at Aachen, since the manufacture of the former at Lothar I’s court was a firm attribution. Revising the opinion in Koehler and Mütherich 1971, in which Lothar I’s court school was assured (unlike his father Louis the Pious’s school), the list of illuminated manuscripts linked to Louis emerge tellingly from their previous Lotharingian limbo, according to Mütherich 1990, in the second quarter of the 9th century in Aachen: Rome, Vatican Terence, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vat. lat. 3868 (c. 825); Codex Agrimensores, Pal. lat. 1564 (c. 825); Cicero’s Aratus, London, British Library, Harley 647 (c. 830); Leiden Aratea, Leiden, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit, Voss. lat. Q. 79 (c. 816 or later [Mütherich 1990 prefers c. 840]). Koehler and Mütherich 1971 considers the Vatican Terence to reflect its lost late Antique precursor fairly accurately, which was a result confirmed in Wright 1996. Wright 1996 interpolates the losses in the style of Carolingian painting in order to argue for a link between the lost original and the Vatican Vergil (Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vat. lat. 3225), dating both c. 400. Mütherich 2004 had already argued in 1974 that the illuminated Vatican Agrimensores manuscript, with its images of surveying, supplied the original key to the reconstitution of the court school of Louis the Pious, because of an indirect link to the scribal arts practiced at the chancellery. McKitterick 1990a provides a cultural context for the Harley Aratus with the translation by Cicero, although linking it tenuously to Lothar I. The antiquarianism prevalent at Louis the Pious’s court provides a bridge to the art of Metz, according to Melzak 1990, underscoring that the diminished courtly production of biblical exemplars distributed as official copies (as discussed in Mütherich 1990) resulted in greater latitude for choices of commissions in regional centers throughout the Frankish lands. Mütherich 1990 moots the localization of the Carolingian copy of the Calendar of 354 to this courtly milieu c. 840, and Salzmann 1990 supplies the best introduction to the calendar and its copies. The Lothar Psalter (c. 842) and its script have been discussed in Koehler and Mütherich 1971 but have been updated in McKitterick 1990b, which studies at length the use of uncial in a courtly scriptorium of the 9th century. McKitterick 1990b argues for the addition of a sixth fragmentary manuscript in a private collection to the canonical list of illuminated manuscripts for Lothar I, all made c. 842–855 (a range of dates first confirmed in Koehler and Mütherich 1971): Lothar Psalter, London, British Library, Add. MS 37768; Sacramentary, Padua, Biblioteca Capitolare, Ms. D. 47; Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Staatsbibliothek theol. lat. fol. 260; Berlin, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Staatsbibliothek theol. lat. fol. 3; Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Urbinus lat. 3.

              • Koehler, Wilhelm, and Florentine Mütherich. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Vol. 4, Die Hofschule Kaisers Lothars, Einzelhandschriften aus Lotharingien. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1971.

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                Definitive statement of the court school of Lothar I, but the “singular manuscripts” have since been reattributed to a court school for his father, Louis the Pious.

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              • McKitterick, Rosamond. “Text and Image in the Carolingian World.” In The Uses of Literacy in Early Mediaeval Europe. Edited by Rosamond McKitterick, 297–318. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990a.

                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511584008Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Argues that the calligrams of the constellations in the Harley 647 Aratus display Carolingian creativity in the text-image relationship, and contextualizes with period texts the ways that word and image were considered in the 8th and 9th centuries.

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              • McKitterick, Rosamond. “Carolingian Uncial: A Context for the Lothar Psalter.” The British Library Journal 16.1 (1990b): 1–15.

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                Discusses the conservative Carolingian reliance upon a true uncial script because of its association with the holy writ of gospel books, making it an appropriate script by extension for a royal psalter and for cultivation in Lothar I’s court school.

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              • Melzak, Robert. “Antiquarianism in the Time of Louis the Pious and Its Influence on the Art of Metz.” In Charlemagne’s Heir: New Perspectives on the Reign of Louis the Pious (814–40). Edited by Peter Godman and Roger Collins, 629–640. Oxford: Clarendon, 1990.

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                Discusses the Nachleben of the antiquarian spirit cultivated at the court of Louis the Pious for future Carolingian artistic production, with a special emphasis placed on Metz.

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              • Mütherich, Florentine. “Book Illumination at the Court of Louis the Pious.” In Charlemagne’s Heir: New Perspectives on the Reign of Louis the Pious (814–40). Edited by Peter Godman and Roger Collins, 593–604. Oxford: Clarendon, 1990.

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                Best introduction to the problems and solutions proposed for the localization of Louis the Pious’s court school in Aachen. The author corrects her own earlier treatment of the subject in Koehler and Mütherich 1971.

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              • Mütherich, Florentine. “Der karolingische Agrimensoren-Codex in Rom.” In Studies in Carolingian Manuscript Illumination. By Florentine Mütherich, 118–146. London: Pindar, 2004.

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                Excellent plates complement the best available treatment of this illustrated surveying treatise. Originally appeared in Aachener Kunstblätter 45 (1974): 59–74.

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              • Salzmann, Michele Renee. On Roman Time: The Codex-Calendar of 354 and the Rhythms of Urban Life in Late Antiquity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990.

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                Definitive work on the history and transmission of the Calendar of 354, replacing the earlier text in Stern 1953 (cited under Leiden Aratea).

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              • Wright, David. “The Organization of the Lost Late Antique Illustrated Terence.” In Medieval Manuscripts of the Latin Classics: Production and Use; Proceedings of the Seminar in the History of the Book to 1500, Leiden, 1993. Edited by Claudine Chavannes-Mazel and Margaret M. Smith, 41–56. Los Altos Hills, CA: Anderson-Lovelace, 1996.

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                Nuances the debate over Carolingian copying practices of classical precursors and painterly creativity. Suggests that even inferior painterly techniques employed by Carolingian book painters can speak meaningfully about the late Antique codices of the past.

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              Leiden Aratea

              Linked to the court school of Louis the Pious (see Courtly Art Linked to Louis the Pious and Lothar), the copy of the Aratea in Leiden is one of the most lavishly illustrated Carolingian manuscripts. It is prized for its pictures rather than its 1st-century translation into Latin by Claudius Caesar Germanicus of the 3rd-century BCE treatise on the relative placement of the constellations seen on a celestial globe, the Phaenomena of Aratus. The text and its imagery are elucidated at length in Mütherich 1989 and more manageably presented in a cogent, concise format with illustrations in Katzenstein and Savage-Smith 1988. This manuscript supplies an important record of Carolingian intellectual sophistication, antiquarianism in Aachen, and painterly acumen, resulting in its interest both to historians of art and science. The 1st-century Latin translation by Germanicus was updated in places by excerpts from Avienus’s subsequent translation of the 4th century. Providing a dense but thorough survey of the literature, Verkerk 1980 adduces various responses to questions concerning the manuscript’s origin, date, and place within Carolingian manuscript illumination. Given the dated nature of this historiographic appraisal, some information has nevertheless been surpassed. The iconography of the Aratean tradition was assured in c. 300, when an early Latin translation of the Aratus text plus accompanying scholia established the hegemonic form of the Aratean star pictures, according to Haffner 1997. McGurk 1981 supplies a useful survey of the various forms Carolingian star pictures can take. A lively debate concerning the planetary configuration on folio 93 verso has important bearing for the consideration of this codex within the larger history of Carolingian painting. The configuration copies motifs of the months from the Calendar of 354, as elucidated in Stern 1953. In addition, three important essays compellingly argue for the scientific sophistication of Carolingian stargazers who could construct rather than copy a planetary configuration, which corresponds to a date of manufacture for the manuscript of 18 March 816, according to Mostert and Mostert 1990, correcting an earlier proposal in Eastwood 1983. Dekker 2008 has suggested alternatively that the planetary configuration depicts the arrangement of the planets during the Paschal full moon occurring astronomically on 16 April 816. In any case, Mostert and Mostert 1990 relies upon the method established in the earlier essay Eastwood 1983. The Leiden Aratea would then date to the early stages of book production at the court school of Louis the Pious, with consequences, if accurate, yet to be determined. Verkerk 1980, finally, supplies a succinct review of the problems regarding the dating and localization of the later putative copies of the Leiden Aratea planetary configuration on folio 93 verso: Boulogne-sur-mer, MS 188, folio 30 recto; Bern, Burgerbibliothek, MS 88, folio 11 verso. These diagrams apparently underscore Carolingian creativity and cultural respectability in the minds of later scribes and illuminators, although the impact of these findings upon the significance of the alleged date for the manuscript of 816 remains contentious.

              • Dekker, Elly. “Carolingian Planetary Observations: The Case of the Leiden Planetary Configuration.” Journal of the History of Astronomy 39.1 (2008): 77–90.

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                Carolingian astronomers were capable of planetary observations, but their records emphasized the placement of the planets within zodiacal constellations, not their corresponding signs. On the other hand, celestial records of solar-lunar positions derived from normative calendar cycles. The upshot is that the date in Mostert and Mostert 1990 should be emended to 16 April 816. According to this view a celestial event, the Paschal moon, is celebrated by the planetary configuration.

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              • Eastwood, Bruce. “Origins and Contents of the Leiden Planetary Configuration (MS Voss. Q.79, fol. 93v), an Artistic Astronomical Schema of the Early Middle Ages.” Viator 14.1 (1983): 1–40.

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                The inaccurate dating of 28 March 579 was corrected in Mostert and Mostert 1990. Eastwood nevertheless popularizes a reliable tool for art historians. Bryant Tuckerman’s astronomical tables identify the dates that planetary bodies (extremely infrequently) come into specific configurations. This suggests astute artists and arguably an astronomical advisor could use specific arrangements of planets to denote specific dates. The fact that historians of science debate these dates should give art historians pause.

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              • Haffner, Mechthild. Ein antiker Sternbilderzyklus und seine Tradierung in Handschriften von Frühen Mittelalter bis zum Humanismus: Untersuchungen zu den Illustrationen der “Aratea” des Germanicus. Hildesheim, Germany: Georg Olms Verlag, 1997.

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                Definitive statement about the origins of the Aratean versions of the star pictures, confirmed by the histories of art and textual transmission.

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              • Katzenstein, Ranee, and Emilie Savage-Smith. The Leiden Aratea: Ancient Constellations in a Medieval Manuscript. Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988.

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                This short catalogue was released in conjunction with the eponymous exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1988, but its significance exceeds its size. Concise catalogue entries for the images of the constellations in the Leiden Aratea reveal the interlocking artistic reliance upon the Germanicus translation and its mythological references.

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              • McGurk, Patrick. “Carolingian Astrological Manuscripts.” In Charles the Bald: Court and Kingdom. Edited by Margaret Gibson, Janet Nelson, and David Ganz, 317–332. Oxford: British Archaeological Reprints, 1981.

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                This essay was printed only in the first edition of the anthology and can therefore be hard to locate. It supplies, however, the best introductory survey to Carolingian star pictures, with bibliography for further inquiry.

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              • Mostert, Richard, and Marco Mostert. “Using Astronomy as an Aid to Dating Manuscripts: The Example of the Leiden Aratea Planetarium.” Quarendo 20.4 (1990): 248–261.

                DOI: 10.1163/157006990X00076Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Relying upon the dating method established in Eastwood 1983, the authors redate the Leiden Aratea planetary configuration to within a few days of 18 March 816. Provides a helpful analysis of the dating technique, making it accessible to art historians with limited astronomical background knowledge.

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              • Mütherich, Florentine. “Die Bilder.” In Aratea: Kommentar zum Aratus des Germanicus Ms. Voss. lat. Q. 79, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit Leiden. Edited by Bernhard Bischoff, Bruce Eastwood, Thomas A. P. Klein, Florentine Mütherich, and Pieter F. J. Obbema, 31–68. Lucerne, Switzerland: Faksimile Verlag, 1989.

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                Updates the state-of-research essay in Verkerk 1980. Detailed descriptions of the constellations complement Katzenstein and Savage-Smith 1988. Moots the (now unlikely) possibility of an origin during the later years of the reign of Louis the Pious, in conjunction with the appearance of Halley’s Comet soaring overhead through Frankish skies in 837. There is a reprint of this material in Mütherich 2004 (cited under Contributions to the Development of Carolingian Book Painting).

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              • Stern, Henri. Le Calendrier de 354: Étude sur son texte et ses illustrations. Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner, 1953.

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                Groundbreaking examination of the iconography of the Calendar of 354 as a record of late Antique art and culture from the pivotal syncretist mid-4th century. The Calendar of 354 can be mined as a resource, which reveals the kinds of iconographic resources that would have been verifiably influential on Carolingian manuscript illumination. The text as a whole has been updated significantly in Salzmann 1990 (cited under Contributions to the Development of Carolingian Book Painting).

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              • Verkerk, C. L. “Aratea: A Review of the Literature concerning MS. Vossianus lat. q. 79 in Leiden University Library.” Journal of Medieval History 6.3 (1980): 245–287.

                DOI: 10.1016/0304-4181(80)90002-0Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                This is the best article to assign undergraduate and graduate students in order to introduce them to the state of information about one of the most important records of Carolingian antiquarianism at the court of Louis the Pious. In tandem with Katzenstein and Savage-Smith 1988, students can rapidly enter into serious debate in a seminar setting about the book’s significance.

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              Drogo and Episcopal Manuscript Production in Metz

              Building upon antiquarian interest at the court of Louis the Pious (see Courtly Art Linked to Louis the Pious and Lothar), regional scriptoria emerged throughout the Frankish lands. One center at Metz arose under Charlemagne’s illegitimate child, Bishop Drogo (823–855). The lion’s share of Metz manuscripts belong to the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. Laffitte 2007 supplies, therefore, a comprehensive introduction with up-to-date bibliography and exquisite plates. Koehler 1960 divided the canonical set of Metz manuscripts into three phases: an early Angilram phase, a later Drogo phase, and a third Adventius (858–885) phase, linking them all to the see. Angilram (769–791) books were expertly crafted with a variant of Caroline miniscule derived from early court school production. Whether a scriptorium in Metz was associated with the cathedral or monastery of St. Arnulf is unclear. Under Drogo the creative possibilities for canon tables and historiated initials blossomed. Diebold 2000 argues that the latter development afforded illuminators in Metz rich opportunities for the pictorial expression of theological conceits, providing a catalyst for future manipulations of word and image, explaining and facilitating memory of scripture. Koehler 1960 identified the distinguished manuscripts made under Drogo: Paris, MS lat. 9383 (c. 840); Paris, MS lat. 9388 (c. 845); Paris, MS lat. 9428 (845–855). Extensive gold lettering in prefatory pages harkened back to Tours (also see Monastic Manuscript Production in Tours). Koehler 1960 likewise attributed a copy of an Astronomical-Computistical-Handbook to Metz (Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 3307, after 820; see Handbook of 809 and Carolingian Diagrams). Individual manuscripts from Metz have benefited from focused iconographic analyses; Koehler 1974 introduced the Drogo Sacramentary, exemplifying key stylistic traits of Drogo production and ivory book covers. Unterkircher 1977 provides an excellent iconographic resource, but it must be compared against more-recent discussions. The theological significance of the Crucifixion initial “O,” inter alia, from the Sacramentary has inspired debate. Raising serious issues about the degree of planning and theological sophistication informing even small historiated initials in the Drogo Sacramentary, Chazelle 2002 argues for a comprehensive soteriological interpretation of the Crucifixion initial “O” for Palm Sunday, which provides a reminder about baptismal rites for catechumens on the Easter vigil, and the promise of redemption under the New Covenant. Leesti 1989 similarly linked the Pentecost initial “D” to early Byzantine artistic precursors, and baptism was associated with the pouring out of God’s spirit, depicted with a Trinitarian emphasis. Arguing for layers of sophistication in layout and design, the Sacramentary’s innovative structure reflects the spirit of Carolingian liturgical reforms that benefited from the involvement of Amalarius of Metz (c. 780–850), according to Calkins 1986. Reynolds 1990 contextualizes the ivory covers of the Drogo Sacramentary within the liturgical reform initiatives underway throughout the Frankish lands.

              • Calkins, Robert G. “Liturgical Sequence and Decorative Crescendo in the Drogo Sacramentary.” Gesta 25.1 (1986): 17–23.

                DOI: 10.2307/766893Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                The cycle of illustration in the Drogo Sacramentary displays a purposeful development that reflects the liturgical performance of the Carolingian Mass. The book could not even be labeled a direct copy in terms of layout or structure.

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              • Chazelle, Celia. “An Exemplum of Humility: The Crucifixion Image in the Drogo Sacramentary.” In Reading Medieval Images: The Art Historian and the Object. Edited by Elizabeth Sears and Thelma K. Thomas, 27–35. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002.

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                Exegesis of the initial “O” for a prayer for Palm Sunday in the Drogo Sacramentary, suggesting that the artists at work on the historiated initials benefited from a spiritual adviser of great intellect and creative acumen, who was fully conversant with the liturgy from Palm Sunday through Good Friday, or Holy Week.

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              • Diebold, William J. Word and Image: An Introduction to Early Medieval Art. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2000.

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                Although helpful in general, Chapter 2 discusses the role of artistry in the Carolingian production of sacred texts, teasing apart various aspects of the phenomenon of the historiated initial, rightly noting that it rivals with the text for the reader’s attention.

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              • Koehler, Wilhelm. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Vol. 3, Part 1: Die Gruppe des Wiener Krönungs-Evangeliars; Part 2: Metzer Handschriften. Berlin: Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 1960.

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                Definitive introduction to the three phases of manuscript production at Metz, associated with three bishops: Angilram, Drogo, and Adventius.

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              • Koehler, Wilhelm. Drogo-Sakramentar, Manuscrit latin 9428, Bibliothèque nationale, Paris. Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1974.

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                Facsimile edition of the Drogo Sacramentary, with commentary, primarily useful for the imagery.

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              • Laffitte, Marie-Pierre. “Metz, ville impériale, centre liturgique et artistique (cat. 52 à 55).” In Trésors carolingiens: Livres manuscrits de Charlemagne à Charles le Chauve. Edited by Marie-Pierre Laffitte and Charlotte Denoël, 189–205. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2007.

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                Surveys the historical development of Metz, emphasizing the political and cultural ties that gave rise to the monumental manuscripts made under Drogo. Superior-quality plates supplement an up-to-date text with further bibliography. Attention is also paid to the extraordinary ivory book covers associated with these manuscripts. The diverse richness of historiated initials is celebrated, including the animal initials of the gospel book, MS lat. 9388 (cat. 54).

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              • Leesti, Elizabeth. “The Pentecost Illustration in the Drogo Sacramentary.” Gesta 28.2 (1989): 205–216.

                DOI: 10.2307/767069Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                The emphasis upon baptismal and Trinitarian themes in the Drogo Sacramentary image of Pentecost, coupled with a Byzantine iconography, all argue in favor of a creative workshop in Metz, engaging theological ideas such as the updated Nicene creed. The Carolingian version of the creed included a reference to God and Son, filioque, explaining the atypical presentation of all three members of the triune godhead in the Pentecost initial.

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              • Reynolds, Roger E. “A Visual Epitome of the Eucharistic ‘Ordo’ from the Era of Charles the Bald: The Ivory Mass Cover of the Drogo Sacramentary.” In Charles the Bald: Court and Kingdom. 2d ed. Edited by Margaret T. Gibson and Janet L. Nelson, 241–260. Aldershot, UK: Variorum, 1990.

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                Compelling discussion of the relationship between the ivory cover of the Drogo Sacramentary and the liturgy it depicted, as well as the service book enabled, as an example of the hegemonic Gregorian of Aniane. The book is personalized throughout for Drogo’s use.

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              • Unterkircher, Franz. Zur Ikonographie und Liturgie des Drogo-Sakramentars (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Ms. lat. 9428). Graz, Austria: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1977.

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                Essential resource for iconographic studies of the Drogo Sacramentary, although it is somewhat outdated.

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              Handbook of 809 and Carolingian Diagrams

              Alongside the liturgical reforms and quest for a better Bible, books of science and the liberal arts, including astronomy, play an important, but undervalued, role in Carolingian culture. Borst 1993 succinctly summarizes the three progressive efforts at creating a definitive textbook on astronomy and temporal calculation for official use and presumed distribution throughout the Frankish lands, resulting in editions completed in 793, 809, and 818. Ramírez-Weaver 2009 situates the Handbook of 809—prepared following an official synod on calendrical and astronomical reform at Aachen in 809—within Charlemagne’s general program of reform and follows Koehler 1960 in the author’s localization of the subsequent show copy of this encyclopedia (currently Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 3307) to Metz, while recognizing the attribution is contested (some prefer Murbach) and preferring a date c. 830. In addition, Ramírez-Weaver 2009 emphasizes the spiritual and sacred benefit that study of the liberal art of astronomy held for 9th-century readers, which surpassed the evident need for such books to enable prelates to reckon the feast day of Easter with accuracy. The lavish depictions of the constellations from the Madrid 3307 manuscript are catalogued in Koehler 1960 and contextualized in Sánchez Mariana 1993, both building upon the seminal work in Neuss 1941. Eastwood 2007 has compellingly argued that original Carolingian diagrams for Plinian excerpts were appended to the cycle of star pictures illustrating the constellations. The diagrams were physical records of the perfect, harmonious order in God’s creation for the author of Eastwood 2007. Kühnel 2005 alternatively asserts the creative potential of the diagram to exemplify and express a devout and sincere Carolingian desire to subject all science to the work of sanctification, literally visualized through the reliance upon cruciform motifs or designs. These astronomical and cosmological innovations emphasize Carolingian creativity, rather than straightforward classical renewal, a theme emphasized in Ramírez-Weaver 2009 as well. In the most important work treating the intersection of art, science, and theological or eschatological hopes for the renewal of the creation through the restorative power of Christian salvation, Kühnel 2003 compellingly argues the author’s overarching thesis that diagrammatic structures themselves can be understood iconographically and could even give hope to 9th-century readers of computistical treatises or biblical books.

              • Borst, Arno. “Alkuin und die Enzyklopädie von 809.” In Science in Western and Eastern Civilization in Carolingian Times. Edited by Paul Leo Butzer, and Dietrich Lohrmann, 53–78. Basel, Switzerland: Birkhäuser Verlag, 1993.

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                Succinct introduction to the development of the three editions of the Carolingian textbook on astronomy and computistics (of 793, 809, and 818), thoroughly contextualizing them within early medieval Frankish culture.

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              • Eastwood, Bruce S. Ordering the Heavens: Roman Astronomy and Cosmology in the Carolingian Renaissance. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 2007.

                DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004161863.i-453Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                This is the official guidebook for Carolingian diagrams that contextualizes, explains, and situates their intellectual achievement. Eastwood prefers to emphasize the purely scientific side of Carolingian diagrams for Roman excerpts. He rejects the view that crosses within diagrams continue to be scientific records, as opposed to some other form of composition, derived from diagrams and of alternative cultural significance.

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              • Koehler, Wilhelm. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Vol. 3, Part 1: Die Gruppe des Wiener Krönungs-Evangeliars; Part 2: Metzer Handschriften. Berlin: Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 1960.

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                Important synopsis of the state of research concerning Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 3307, at publication, arguing that the manuscript could very well have been manufactured in Metz (820–840).

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              • Kühnel, Bianca. The End of Time in the Order of Things: Science and Eschatology in Early Medieval Art. Regensburg, Germany: Schnell and Steiner, 2003.

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                Comprehensive survey, canvassing the ways that art and science are intrinsically intertwined with matters of theological import, including soteriology during the Carolingian era and beyond. Fundamental to an understanding of early medieval art.

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              • Kühnel, Bianca. “Carolingian Diagrams, Images of the Invisible.” In Seeing the Invisible in Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages. Edited by Giselle de Nie, Karl F. Morrison, and Marco Mostert, 359–389. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2005.

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                Underscores the Carolingian commitment to the sacralization of classical sources and any information pertaining to the liberal arts and science.

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              • Neuss, Wilhelm. “Eine karolingische Kopie antiker Sternzeichen-Bilder im Codex 3307 der Biblioteca Nacional zu Madrid.” Zeitschrift des Deutschen Vereins für Kunstwissenschaft 8 (1941): 113–140.

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                Seminal investigation of the iconography of the Handbook of 809 and its related family of manuscripts.

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              • Ramírez-Weaver, Eric. “Classical Constellations in Carolingian Codices: Investigating the Celestial Imagery of Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 3307.” In Negotiating Secular and Sacred in Medieval Art: Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist. Edited by Alicia Walker and Amanda Luyster, 103–128. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2009.

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                Argues that a Carolingian understanding of the star pictures in the luxury copy of the Handbook of 809 in Madrid refuses a sacred/secular binary oppositional interpretation. In fact, study of the star pictures and the Handbook of 809 was an integral component of sacred study of the liberal arts.

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              • Sánchez Mariana, Manuel. Códice de Metz: Tratado de Computo y Astronomía. Madrid: Testimonio Compañía Editorial, 1993.

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                Concise introduction to the Carolingian copy of the Handbook of 809 in Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional, MS 3307, and related manuscripts.

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              Ebbo and Hincmar, Manuscript Production in the See of Reims

              Mütherich 1996 provides the best introduction to the artistic excellence achieved by the masterful draftsmen and painters of manuscripts in Reims. Just as artistic production at Metz (see Drogo and Episcopal Manuscript Production in Metz) was linked to important prelates, so in Reims, manuscript production divides into an early phase, manuscript production under Archbishop Ebbo (816–835, 840–841), painted books linked to Archbishop Hincmar (845–882), and manuscripts made at the behest of Archbishop Fulco (883–900). Abbot Peter of Hautvillers supervised the monastic creation of the Ebbo Gospels, which uniquely displays an expressionistic, Hellenistic heritage and painterly facture in the evangelist portraits. The book, according to Mütherich 1996, also exists in continuity with the Byzantine-inspired classicism of the Vienna Coronation Gospels at Charlemagne’s court school (see Courtly Art Linked to Aachen and Charlemagne). This effect is accentuated by lively animals and drolleries in the imaginative canon tables, witnessed by other Ebbo manuscripts such as the Loisel Gospels (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 17968, first half of the 9th century), discussed and introduced in Denoël 2007, and which became a model for the Hincmar era. The Ebbo Gospels identify Archbishop Ebbo in their dedicatory verses (Epernay, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 1, c. 816–830). Koehler and Mütherich 1994 clarifies the contractual arrangement for the production of the Ebbo Gospels. Archbishop Ebbo commissioned a site to produce the book it will also receive, underscoring a self-benefiting (and regionally self-sufficient) model of monastic manuscript production in 9th-century Reims. As an example of sacred science, the Bern Physiologus described in Steiger and Homburger 1964 is an example of Ebbo production and monastic interest in books for study and entertainment (Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 318, before 835). Nees 2003 investigates the Visio Baronti (St. Petersburg, Russia, Russian National Library, cod. lat. Oct. v.I.5, 845–850), a visionary text arising in Reims during the turbulent period of succession to the metropolitan see from Ebbo to Hincmar after Ebbo’s dismissal for siding with Louis the Pious’s revolutionary son, Lothar I, as discussed in Koehler and Mütherich 1994. At the center of this debate, Chazelle 1998 has cast doubt upon the dating of one of the major achievements of the Reims school under Ebbo, the calligraphic masterpiece of medieval drawing, the Utrecht Psalter (also see Utrecht Psalter and Carolingian Creativity). Chazelle believes that it could belong to the Hincmar era. Imaginative canon tables and painterly evangelists remain hallmarks of Reimsian manuscript sophistication after 845. Therefore, books such as the Saint-Remi Gospels (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, M. 728, 845–882) displaying characteristic LI ligature in the Matthew incipit and the Gospels of Saint-Thierry (Hincmar Gospels, Reims, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 7, 845–882) can be linked unequivocally to the Hincmar period, as described in Mütherich 1996 and Koehler and Mütherich 1999. Finally, another Carolingian achievement is late Reimsian. The San Paolo Bible (Abbazia di San Paolo fuori le Mura, 870–875) was made for Charles the Bald. The ruler portrait depicts his second wife, Richildis, and the book constituted a gift for Pope John VIII at the moment of Charles’s imperial Roman coronation in 875, according to Koehler and Mütherich 1999. Diebold 1994 considers the royal representation of Charles the Bald in detail, while Gaehde 1971 offers a thorough investigation of Touronian influence on the extant cycle of twenty-four frontispieces in the lavish San Paolo Bible (also see Monastic Manuscript Production in Tours).

              • Chazelle, Celia. “Archbishops Ebo and Hincmar of Reims and the Utrecht Psalter.” In Early Medieval Art. Edited by Lawrence Nees, 97–119. Cambridge, MA: Medieval Academy of America, 1998.

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                Groundbreaking reappraisal of the Fides Catholica scene on folio 90 verso of the Utrecht Psalter (also see Utrecht Psalter and Carolingian Creativity), in which references to Hincmar, and not Ebbo, are more likely to have been depicted—changing the entire chronology of manuscript illustration in Reims.

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              • Denoël, Charlotte. “Entre diversité et inventivité, les ateliers rémois (cat. 41 à 51).” In Trésors carolingiens: Livres manuscrits de Charlemagne à Charles le Chauve. Edited by Marie-Pierre Laffitte and Charlotte Denoël, 167–187. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2007.

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                Thorough introduction to masterpieces of French manuscript painting in early medieval Reims, with outstanding plates and up-to-date bibliographic references.

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              • Diebold, William J. “The Ruler Portrait of Charles the Bald in the S. Paolo Bible.” Art Bulletin 76.1 (1994): 6–18.

                DOI: 10.2307/3046000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                In-depth iconographic analysis of the representation of Charles the Bald in the late-Reimsian San Paolo Bible that relates the Carolingian ruler to biblical wise sovereign Solomon and other important kingly precedents in a pantheon of spiritual leaders. Moots the possibility that Hincmar was responsible for the commission.

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              • Gaehde, Joachim E. “The Turonian Sources of the Bible of San Paolo Fuori le Mura in Rome.” Frühmittelalterliche Studien 5 (1971): 359–400.

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                Develops with great rigor the impact of Bibles from Tours on the iconographic program of the most lavish Bible of the Carolingian period, the San Paolo Bible.

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              • Koehler, Wilhelm, and Florentine Mütherich. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Vol. 6, Part 1, Von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des 9. Jahrhunderts. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1994.

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                Definitive resource cataloguing the Ebbo manuscripts made in Reims.

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              • Koehler, Wilhelm, and Florentine Mütherich. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Vol. 6, Part 2, Von der Mitte bis zum Ende des 9. Jahrhunderts. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1999.

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                Definitive resource cataloguing the Hincmar manuscripts made in Reims.

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              • Mütherich, Florentine. “Carolingian Manuscript Illumination in Rheims.” In The Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David. Edited by Koert van der Horst, William Noel, and Wilhelmina W. C. Wüstefeld, 104–119. Westrenen, The Netherlands: HES, 1996.

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                Concise presentation of manuscript production in Reims, providing a perfect first source for researchers at any level to consult.

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              • Nees, Lawrence. “The Illustrated Manuscript of the Visio Baronti [Revelatio Baronti] in St. Petersburg (Russian National Library, cod. lat. Oct. v.I.5).” In Court Culture in the Early Middle Ages: The Proceedings of the First Alcuin Conference. Edited by Catherine Cubitt, 91–128. Studies in the Early Middle Ages 3. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2003.

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                Argues compellingly for a localization of this mystic text in Reims during the turbulent mid-9th-century period of dissension between rival clerical factions in support either of Archbishop Ebbo or Hincmar.

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              • Steiger, Christoph von, and Otto Homburger, eds. Physiologus bernensis: Voll-Faksimile-Ausgabe des Codex Bongarsianus 318 der Burgerbibliothek Bern. Basel, Switzerland: Alkuin Verlag, 1964.

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                Explains the textual transmission of redaction C of the Physiologus in Latin, of which codex 318 in Bern is a primary witness. The manuscript is a quintessential record of an early Christian culture under formation, cultivated later by the Carolingian renewal.

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              Utrecht Psalter and Carolingian Creativity

              Technically, an illustrated Psalter attesting to the calligraphic acumen of early medieval draftsmen in Reims, this manuscript in Utrecht is nevertheless one of the premier achievements of the Carolingian book arts (Utrecht, The Netherlands, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit, MS 32). Despite its prominence, the state of scholarship concerning the manuscript is oddly unsettled. Chazelle 1998 has advanced a plausible revisionist interpretation of evidence in the Fides Catholica scene on folio 90 verso, suggesting that a date of c. 850 for the manufacture of the Utrecht Psalter be taken seriously. This reinstates a disregarded thesis in Engelbregt 1965, which includes detailed English summaries that quickly inform the researcher about the state of scholarship on the manuscript in 1960. Engelbregt 1965 argued for a strong creative thesis, considering the literal translations of the psalms into imagery to be the revelation of a novel Carolingian reinterpretation of the psalter text, derived however from an “eclectic” blend of pictorial precursors and novel insights. Chazelle 2004 believes that various aspects of the Utrecht Psalter’s creation demonstrate a reliance upon Carolingian visual culture, but the selection of motifs for inclusion or invention in Carolingian codices is telling about theological ideas and period beliefs, following a rhetorical selection process akin to exegetical compilatio. Alternatively, Tselos 1967 supplies an excellent statement of the opposing viewpoint, denying that the Utrecht Psalter illustrations could be anything other than a copy of one or more lost precursors. In order to advance the search for the lost model, which is far from demonstrated to exist, the exhaustive mine of Carolingian iconographic motifs in the Utrecht Psalter, Dufrenne 1978, was created. Equally useful for researchers, DeWald 1932 offers iconographic guides to each of the psalm illustrations but contains a poor set of plates. Lastly, van der Horst, et al. 1996, an exhibition catalogue, provides the most comprehensive review of all relevant literature and clarifies the future questions that scholarship should address. On the question of Carolingian creativity, a sensible middle ground agrees predominantly with the position taken up later in Chazelle 2004. Artists engaged in a polycyclic process of image creation and, when needed, introduced novel images and motifs of their own, inspired from their models and previous exposure to art and architecture, according to van der Horst, et al. 1996.

              • Chazelle, Celia. “Archbishops Ebo and Hincmar of Reims and the Utrecht Psalter.” In Early Medieval Art. Edited by Lawrence Nees, 97–119. Cambridge, MA: The Medieval Academy of America, 1998.

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                Argues that either Ebbo or Hincmar might have been archbishop when the Utrecht Psalter was created in Reims, but proposes a tentative redating of the manuscript to c. 850.

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              • Chazelle, Celia. “Violence and the Virtuous Ruler in the Utrecht Psalter.” In The Illuminated Psalter: Studies in the Content, Purpose and Placement of Its Images. Edited by F. O. Büttner, 337–348. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2004.

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                Most important statement in favor of an appropriately nuanced exegetical approach to the understanding of how Carolingian artists and/or their spiritual advisors would have combined the careful selection of image cycles from among countervailing pictorial programs and added their own novel individual ideas.

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              • DeWald, E. T. The Illustrations of the Utrecht Psalter. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1932.

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                Excellent iconographic resource for preliminary investigations of the psalter text and its program of illustration.

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              • Dufrenne, Suzy. Les Illustrations du Psautier d’Utrecht: Sources et Apports Carolingiens. Paris: Ophrys, 1978.

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                Veritable treasure trove for iconographic research of Carolingian motifs and themes.

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              • Engelbregt, J. H. A. Het Utrechts Psalterium: Ein Eeuw Wetenschappelijke Bestudering (1860–1960). Utrecht, The Netherlands: Haentjens Dekker & Gumbert, 1965.

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                Useful English-language summaries provide a succinct statement of early scholarship on the Utrecht Psalter.

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              • Tselos, Dimitri. “Defensive Addenda to the Problem of the Utrecht Psalter.” Art Bulletin 49.4 (1967): 334–349.

                DOI: 10.2307/3048495Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Concise statement of the reasons for which the Utrecht Psalter cycle of illustration could be considered derivative. The positions raised here naturally cannot take into account more-recent scholarship, yet they continue to voice prevailing concerns.

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              • van der Horst, Koert, William Noel, and Wilhelmina C. M. Wüstefeld, eds. The Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David. Westrenen, The Netherlands: HES, 1996.

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                Comprehensive, scholarly introduction to all aspects of the Utrecht Psalter and its Nachleben. Includes exquisite illustrations and well-researched catalogue entries containing current bibliography.

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              Monastic Manuscript Production in Tours

              Koehler 1930–1933 inaugurated a lively debate in which even key participants have altered their views. Consequently, accepted ideas are reviewed first, followed by contentious theses. A study of the monastic scriptorium of Saint Martin’s at Tours in Ganz 1994 focuses on the creation of exquisite Bibles—no less than forty-six Bibles were manufactured for use and export prior to the Viking sack of the monastery in 853—derived from the Carolingian desire for an integrated and accurate biblical text in single volumes, or pandects. Local links at Tours to the influence of Abbot Alcuin (796–804) are underscored in McKitterick 1994, but the author notes the Touronian style takes root during the tenure of Abbot Fridugisus (807–834). Following Fridugisus, lay abbots Adalhard (834–843) and Vivian (844–851) serve as leaders of a semiautonomous Bible and book-making monastic movement. Nees 2010 emphasizes the Frankish pictorial elements in Alcuin’s manuscripts, underscording the role of Carolingian painters in the development of a Touronian house style. Koehler 1930–1933 established the methodological emphasis on clusters of manuscripts attributed to verifiable sites of production, which supplied the rationale for all of Die karolingischen Miniaturen, classifying the illuminated Tours books according to these abbacies. Koehler 1930–1933 problematically argues at length for a lost biblical model from the age of Pope Leo the Great (440–461), decrying Manichaeism and influencing 9th-century Tours Bibles. Although this thesis has been contested, the three hands identified in Koehler 1930–1933 to be at work on the Vivian Bible (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS Lat. 1, c. 845), one of the major monuments of Touronian painting, have been well received. Master C of the Vivian Bible was considered in Koehler 1930–1933 to be the Master Painter of Tours in mid-century, whose oeuvre includes the Jerome, Maiestas Domini, Psalter, and Dedication miniatures from that volume, plus the painting in the lavish Lothar Gospels (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 266, c. 849–851). Kessler 1971 alleges instead that Carolingian creators used various resources to create the pictorial program for the Vivian Bible and the Grandval Bible (London, British Library, MS Cod. Add. 10546, begun under Fridugisus, 834–840), relying inter alia upon an early Christian Genesis cycle. In addition, Kessler 1977 postulates use of an illustrated Pentateuch for the Exodus frontispieces, while the Apocalyptic scenes are probably 9th-century creations, demonstrating exegetical interest in Victorinus of Pettau. St. Clair 1987 argues that the Grandval miniatures of Exodus and the Apocalypse underscore an association between Moses and Paul, motivated by Carolingian interest in the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. Dutton and Kessler 1997 argues that period concerns informed the creative construction of the pictorial program in the Vivian Bible, in which the Touronian canons attempted to educate Charles the Bald and influence him to preserve the autonomy and immunity of the monastery of St. Martin from meddlesome lay abbots such as Vivian. This advances a strong creative thesis at Tours, which Ganz 2007 endorses. Following David Wright, who identified Touronian artistic reliance upon the Vatican Vergil (Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Vat. lat. 3225, c. 400), Ganz 2007 argues that Master C of the Vivian Bible and his fellow poet in Tours, Audradus Modicus, who penned the tituli for the miniature of the life of Jerome (folio 3 verso), were equally influenced during the Carlongian renovatio by Vergil. This requires a transmutation of classical pagan culture into a new Christian idiom, further suggesting Carolingian creativity rather than close copying, as endorsed in Koehler 1930–1933, particularly for the Grandval Bible.

              • Dutton, Paul Edward, and Herbert Kessler. The Poetry and Paintings of the First Bible of Charles the Bald. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.

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                Cogently argued but speculative thesis that the canons of Saint-Martin at Tours purposefully created the Vivian Bible (the first Bible of Charles the Bald) with veiled references, which were intended to encourage the sovereign’s spiritual development and protect them from the avarice of lay abbots such as Vivian. The authors suggest that this polemical or hortatory tone to the Bible might have resulted in its conferral upon Metz as a gift in 869.

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              • Ganz, David. “Mass Production of Early Medieval Manuscripts: The Carolingian Bibles from Tours.” In The Early Medieval Bible: Its Production, Decoration, and Use. Edited by Richard Gameson, 53–62. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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                Thorough discussion of pandect production at Tours.

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              • Ganz, David. “The Vatican Vergil and the Jerome Page in the First Bible of Charles the Bald.” In Under the Influence: The Concept of Influence and the Study of Illuminated Manuscripts. Edited by John Lowden and Alixe Bovey, 45–50. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2007.

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                Vergil’s verse provided a rhetorical model for poets such as Audradus Modicus, because the Vatican Vergil (Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Vat. lat. 3225, c. 400) supplied a treasure trove of motifs for 9th-century artists such as Master C in Tours to appropriate with care.

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              • Kessler, Herbert L. “Hic Homo Formatur: The Genesis Frontispieces of the Carolingian Bibles.” Art Bulletin 53.2 (1971): 143–160.

                DOI: 10.2307/3048827Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Comparative analyses of the iconographic precursors, influencing the creation of Genesis scenes in Touronian Bibles, should be comprehensive. This warrants comparison of the Grandval and Vivian Bibles, and the Bamberg (Staatliche Bibliothek, Msc. Bibl. I [A. I. 5]) or San Paolo fuori le mura (Rome) Bibles. Nonbiblical details added to the iconography for four Genesis scenes derived from the Vita Adae et Evae, which complemented the archetypal pictorial tradition that also informed the Cotton Genesis recension (London, British Library, Cotton Otho. B. VI, c. 475).

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              • Kessler, Herbert. The Illustrated Bibles from Tours. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1977.

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                Most accessible and thorough introduction to the basic problems vexing the study of manuscripts from Tours—but there remains more to be said on this. Argues for a creative polycyclic mode of manuscript production in Tours, emblematic of a 9th-century Carolingian creative process.

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              • Koehler, Wilhelm. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Vol. 1, Part 1: Die Ornamentik; Part 2: Die Bilder. Berlin: Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 1930–1933.

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                More important for historiographic and stylistic considerations than either current information or bibliography. The tripartite division of hands (A–C) in the Vivian Bible continues to be the foundation upon which all other discussions rest.

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              • McKitterick, Rosamond. “Carolingian Bible Production: The Tours Anomaly.” In The Early Medieval Bible: Its Production, Decoration, and Use. Edited by Richard Gameson, 63–77. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

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                Tours was actually one rival center among many striving for an accurate biblical text, but the impact factor of the Alcuin Bible has been exaggerated in previous scholarship.

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              • Nees, Lawrence. “Alcuin and Manuscript Illumination.” In Alkuin von York und die geistige Grundlegung Europas: Akten der Tagung vom 30. September bis zum 2. Oktober 2004 in der Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen. Edited by Ernst Trump and Karl Schmuki, 195–228. St. Gallen, Switzerland: Verlag am Klosterhof, 2010.

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                Methodologically significant study of Alcuin’s influence on Touronian manuscript illumination. Emphasizes the primary role of Touronian painters in the development of a local style, although his Frankish courtly connections were conduits for the flow and exchange of art and ideas.

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              • St. Clair, Archer. “A New Moses: Typological Iconography in the Moutier-Grandval Bible Illustrations of Exodus.” Gesta 26.1 (1987): 19–28.

                DOI: 10.2307/767076Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Since the iconography of the Exodus scene from the Grandval Bible establishes an iconographic connection between Moses and Paul, and this link is the result of an interest in the texts of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite in the 9th century, the cycle of illustration could not exclusively be copied or derived from other sources but required artistic and scholarly ingenuity.

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              Courtly Art Linked to Charles the Bald

              Koehler and Mütherich 1982 provides the definitive introduction to the court school of Charles the Bald (838–877), although important supplemental information about the court library and patronage practices of Carolingian rulers is offered in McKitterick 1980, McKitterick 1990, and McKitterick 1992. Koehler and Mütherich 1982 identified twelve manuscripts belonging to the court school, including the foremost evangeliary and masterpiece of the school, the Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram from Regensburg (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, clm. 14000, 870), a fragmentary Sacramentary in Paris (Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 1141, c. 869–70), the Maréchal Noailles (d. 1708) gospel book (Paris, BnF, MS lat. 323, c. third quarter of the 9th century), the Antiphonary from Compiègne (Paris, BnF, MS lat. 17436, c. 877), the Psalter of Charles the Bald (Paris, BnF, MS lat. 1152, 846–869), and his personal prayerbook for individual use (Munich, Residenz, Schatzkammer, before 869). The Parisian manuscripts are illustrated and contextualized with updated bibliography in Laffitte 2007. Laffitte 2007 and Koehler and Mütherich 1982 underscore the contributions and scribal style of Liuthard, on official royal retainer while supervising the court school scriptorium, working as painter and scribe on royal commissions such as the Psalter of Charles the Bald and with brother Beringar on the Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram. Koehler and Mütherich 1982 recounts early assignments (with bibliographic references) of the court school to Corbie (Hubert Janitschek), Saint-Denis (Albert Friend), or Reims (Carl Nordenfalk). Since Charles the Bald lacked a court center like Charlemagne’s Aachen, this problem remains an open question, although Reims and Compiègne have been mooted as workable possibilities, as well as Soissons (Bernhard Bischoff). McKitterick 1990 endorses the Compiègne hypothesis; the author argues Charles the Bald’s selection of manuscripts for his own use distinguishes his court library from Charlemagne’s collection of official manuscripts intended for royal dissemination. The court library is outlined in McKitterick 1980. Royal gifts were occasionally markers of gratitude and political allegiance, such as the conferral of the Vivian Bible from Tours (Paris, BnF, MS lat. 1; see Monastic Manuscript Production in Tours) and the Psalter of Charles the Bald upon Metz at Charles’s coronation as king of Lotharingia in 869. Such gifts, according to McKitterick 1992, fulfilled a Carolingian royal responsibility to cultivate a Frankish Christian culture. Diebold 1992 argues that in Charles the Bald’s Psalter, a link to Jerome reminded the ruler that the Psalms of David also conveyed spiritual laws for the king to follow. Deshman 1980 emphasizes the spiritual duty of a Christian king, as the proskynesis before the Crucifixion in Charles the Bald’s prayerbook from Munich suggests. Although outdated, the background information and references to earlier bibliography pre–Koehler and Mütherich 1982 in the facsimile and commentary edition of the Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram in Leidinger 1921–1925 merit consultation.

              • Deshman, Robert. “The Exalted Servant: The Ruler Theology of the Prayerbook of Charles the Bald.” Viator 11.1 (1980): 385–417.

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                Thorough discussion of Carolingian and Byzantine representations of pious rulers. Argues that the prayerbook opening opposing Charles the Bald in proskynesis and the Crucifixion had both biographical and devotional import for Charles in his prayerbook intended for personal use.

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              • Diebold, William. “Verbal, Visual, and Cultural Literacy in Medieval Art: Word and Image in the Psalter of Charles the Bald.” Word & Image 8.2 (1992): 89–99.

                DOI: 10.1080/02666286.1992.10435829Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Theoretical and exegetical interpretation of the Charles, Jerome, and David images from the psalter in Paris (MS lat. 1152). Argues for the equal significance both of political and spiritual law for the Christian Carolingian ruler, relying upon an appropriately nuanced and contextualized interpretative model that takes into account pictorial, textual, and cultural cues.

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              • Koehler, Wilhelm, and Florentine Mütherich. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Vol. 5, Die Hofschule Karls des Kahlen. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1982.

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                Definitive resource for consultation concerning the court school of Charles the Bald, with detailed historiographic notes and catalogue entries for the manuscripts.

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              • Laffitte, Marie-Pierre. “Les manuscrits impériaux: Ateliers, dons et commandes, trésors et bibliothèques (cat. 8 à 18).” In Trésors carolingiens: Livres manuscrits de Charlemagne à Charles le Chauve. Edited by Marie-Pierre Laffitte and Charlotte Denoël, 85–119. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2007.

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                Excellent plates and updated bibliography for the court school of Charles the Bald manuscripts in Paris.

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              • Leidinger, Georg, ed. Der Codex Aureus der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek in München. 6 vols. Munich: Hugo Schmidt Verlag, 1921–1925.

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                Excellent resource for older information about the Codex Aureus, which remains relevant and arguably more accessible than comparable resources.

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              • McKitterick, Rosamond. “Charles the Bald (823–77) and His Library: The Patronage of Learning.” The English Historical Review 95.374 (1980): 28–47.

                DOI: 10.1093/ehr/XCV.CCCLXXIV.28Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Supplies important information about the kinds of books requested and popularized by Charles. Suggests that royal patronage of manuscripts after Charlemagne could afford to focus on alternative kinds of projects with an emphasis on history, politics, warfare, theology, and the liberal arts.

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              • McKitterick, Rosamond. “The Palace School of Charles the Bald.” In Charles the Bald: Court and Kingdom. 2d ed. Edited by Margaret T. Gibson and Janet L. Nelson, 326–339. Aldershot, UK: Variorum, 1990.

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                Concise statement of the state of research about the court school of Charles the Bald but eclipsed in depth and focus by the detailed study in Koehler and Mütherich 1982.

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              • McKitterick, Rosamond. “Royal Patronage of Culture in the Frankish Kingdoms under the Carolingians: Motives and Consequences.” In Committenti e produzione artistic-letteraria nell’alto medioevo occidentale: 4–10 aprile 1991. Edited by Ovidio Capitani, 93–129. Spoleto, Italy: Presso la sede del Centro, 1992.

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                Important discussion of the cultural context for Carolingian royal systems of patronage, with an emphasis upon the sacral duty of the just king to uphold and form an orthodox society.

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              Books for Sacred Study from Fulda and the Franco-Saxon School

              Some manuscript centers continued to cultivate styles that recalled Insular and Hiberno-Saxon manuscript illumination. The monastery at Fulda was one such scriptorium, but this calligraphic style existed alongside the classicizing acrostics of Hrabanus Maurus. At Fulda, Abbot Hrabanus Maurus (822–842) created an anthology of figurative acrostic poetry (carmina figurata) in celebration of the cross, De laudibus sanctae crucis (On the praises of the holy cross), which included a dedicatory image in like form for Louis the Pious, depicted as a soldier of Christ (miles Christi), as noted in Sears 1990 (also see Courtly Art Linked to Louis the Pious and Lothar). In keeping with antiquarianism at the court of Louis the Pious, this visual form of poetic puzzle was inspired from Publilius Optatianus Porfyrius, a 4th-century Byzantine. Chazelle 2001 argues that the attention Hrabanus conferred upon the cross was the result of his personal meditative devotion and that the creation of the poetry was an intellectual sacrifice of pious service in c. 835, perhaps in conjunction with the coronation of Louis at Metz that year. The richly layered and gendered biography of Hrabanus in Coon 2011 notes the exegete’s debt to his teacher Alcuin and situates the carmina within the cultural history of the Fulda monastery, reading Hrabanus’s local art and architecture as coeval expressions of Carolingian aesthetics. Kotzur 2006 also contextualizes Hrabanus’s work in the acrostics, complementing Coon 2011 and the earlier cultural and biographical history of Hrabanus’s relationship to Mainz and Fulda in Weber 1980. Also somewhat outdated but a valuable resource is Böhne 1980. Future research on Hrabanus’s acrostic poems should begin with the invaluable edited texts in Perrin 1997. The Insular element of Carolingian manuscript illumination belonging to the so-called Franco-Saxon school has been discussed in Euw 1990, which argues that interlace recombines with Carolingian attentiveness to the renewal of clear scribal presentations of the word in monasteries ranging from Saint-Bertin and Saint-Vaast in Arras at an early stage, until the school becomes associated with Saint-Amand. Denoël 2007 situates the spread of this alternative style throughout the northern territories of France. The Second Bible of Charles the Bald (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 2, c. 871–877) from Saint-Amand was commissioned by the king, according to Hucbald’s dedicatory verse. Other important works are the St. Amand Francis II Gospels (Paris, BnF, MS lat. 257, third quarter of the 9th century), with rare examples of Franco-Saxon evangelist portraits linked to Reims and the Prague Gospels from Saint-Vaast (Cathedral, cim. 2). Nees 2001 also reminds that artists during this period (830–880) practicing the Franco-Saxon style were prone to travel in search of work as itinerant professional painters, undermining to a degree the general belief in isolated scriptoria with a house style in a discussion of the Ottoboni Gospels (Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Cod. Ottob. lat. 79, c. 850). Koehler and Mütherich 2009 provides the final installment of Die karolingischen Miniaturen on the Franco-Saxon school.

              • Böhne, Winfried, ed. Hrabanus Maurus und seine Schule: Festschrift der Rabanus-Maurus-Schule 1980. Fulda, Germany: Rindt-Druck, 1980.

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                Helpful introductions to all aspects of the intellectual and spiritual life of Hrabanus Maurus.

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              • Chazelle, Celia. The Crucified God in the Carolingian Era: Theology and Art of Christ’s Passion. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

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                Excellent complement to other treatments of the visualized verses of Hrabanus Maurus’s De laudibus sanctae crucis (On the praises of the holy cross), which focuses on the meditative and pious aspects of a reader’s engagement with the text. Moreover, for Hrabanus, his role as creator is seen as a divine and intellectual service to God.

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              • Coon, Lynda. Dark Age Bodies: Gender and Monastic Practice in the Early Medieval West. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

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                The “foursquare,” and “four-armed” form of the cross metaphorically exemplifies the intrinsic exegetical and ideological symmetries uniting Hrabanus’s aesthetic and theological interests, drawing upon a traditional microcosm-macrocosm relationship and grounded in Christian salvation history.

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              • Denoël, Charlotte. “Saint-Amand et l’école franco-saxonne (cat. 56 à 61).” In Trésors carolingiens: Livres manuscrits de Charlemagne à Charles le Chauve. Edited by Marie-Pierre Laffitte and Charlotte Denoël, 207–221. Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2007.

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                Best concise statement of the history and development of the Franco-Saxon school, with an emphasis on the manuscripts at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Illustrated with outstanding plates, and the catalogue entries offer the most current bibliography.

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              • Euw, Anton von. Évangéliaires carolingiens enluminés. Translated by Jacques Foret. The Hague: SDU, 1990.

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                Provides useful introductory material concerning all aspects of manuscript production during the Carolingian period, with an express emphasis placed on the practitioners of the Franco-Saxon school. Hard-to-locate plates in this volume are particularly useful, offering comparanda for further study.

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              • Koehler, Wilhelm, and Florentine Mütherich. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Vol. 7, Die frankosächsische Schule. Wiesbaden, Germany: Deutscher Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, 2009.

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                Definitive work on the Franco-Saxon school, which must be consulted for all future reappraisals of this understudied late Carolingian phase of manuscript illumination.

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              • Kotzur, Hans-Jürgen, ed. Rabanus Maurus: Auf den Spuren eines karolingischen Gelehrten. Mainz, Germany: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 2006.

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                Innovative exhibition catalogue that contextualizes all aspects of the De laudibus sanctae crucis (On the praises of the holy cross), with superior quality reproductions, translations of Hrabanus’s verse from Latin into German, and helpful exegeses of the miniatures.

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              • Nees, Lawrence. “On Carolingian Book Painters: The Ottoboni Gospels and Its Transfiguration Master.” Art Bulletin 83.2 (2001): 209–239.

                DOI: 10.2307/3177207Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Traces the peregrinations of the Transfiguration Master, a northern French professional itinerant painter of the mid-9th century to Metz, and then to work on the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) image of Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipal, Cod. 69.

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              • Perrin, Michel. Rabani Mauri: In Honorem Sancti Crucis. Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis 100. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 1997.

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                Critical edition and definitive study of the textual transmission of Hrabanus’s De laudibus sanctae crucis (On the praises of the holy cross).

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              • Sears, Elizabeth. “Louis the Pious as Miles Christi: The Dedicatory Image in Hrabanus Maurus’s De laudibus sanctae crucis.” In Charlemagne’s Heir: New Perspectives on the Reign of Louis the Pious (814–40). Edited by Peter Godman and Roger Collins, 605–628. Oxford: Clarendon, 1990.

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                Thorough contextualization of the significance of Louis as a valiant Christian warrior, in keeping with Frankish ideals of imperial identity.

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              • Weber, Wilhelm, ed. Rabanus Maurus in seiner Zeit, 780–1980. Mainz, Germany: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1980.

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                Concise art-historical assessment of the life and impact of Hrabanus Maurus during the Carolingian period and his Nachleben in modern Germany.

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              Monastic Manuscript Production and St. Gall

              Eggenberger 2003 provides a succinct introduction to the fundamental topics of interest vis-à-vis late Carolingian manuscript illumination at St. Gall: questions of Irish or Hiberno-Saxon influence given the evangelization of the continent by Columbanus and his disciple Gallus on St. Gall masterpieces such as the Psalterium Aureum (Stiftsbibliothek, Codex 22, 883–888, 890–900), the presence of monastic spiritual advisors such as abbots who infused pictorial programs with theological import, nostalgic efforts to advance Carolingian conceits associated with Charlemagne’s programs of renewal such as in the David-as-author portrait in the Folchart Psalter (Codex 23, p. 9, 872–883), and the intended purpose of the St. Gall monastery plan (820–830). Eggenberger 1987 discusses all aspects of the Psalterium Aureum with rigor, providing a starting point for serious research. Schmuki, et al. 2000 includes excellent plates and catalogue entries for major monuments of manuscript illumination at Saint Gall. These texts are supplemented extensively by virtual facsimiles, which are routinely updated with more manuscripts from the Saint Gall collection at Codices Electronici Sangallenses. The information on the website partly derives from the current catalogue information in Euw 2008. Another important online resource tool treats the St. Gall Plan and contextualizes it within the Carolingian period: St. Gall Monastery Plan, Codex Sangallensis 1092: Content and Context. This database includes a complete facsimile of the important three-volume work on the St. Gall Plan, Horn and Born 1979. Undermining the thesis espoused by Horn and Born that the St. Gall Plan was derived from an official model for replication throughout the Frankish lands, in keeping with one understanding of the reform programs belonging to the Carolingian renovatio, Nees 1986 argues instead for the originality and singularity of the ideal architectural drawing from Reichenau. In order to better appreciate precisely how the plan was organized, Sullivan 1998 provides a succinct presentation of patterns of access and exclusion within the monastic setting envisioned and facilitated by the plan. An updated gendered analysis of the plan has also been offered in Coon 2011. Finally, the Liber Viventium Fabariensis from Pfäfers Abbey (820–830, with later additions through the 13th century), in the collection of the Pfäfers Stfitsarchiv at St. Gall, is a masterpiece of Carolingian manuscript illumination in Rhaetian script, attesting to the widespread diffusion of early medieval styles of painting, as recounted in Euw 1989.

              • Codices Electronici Sangallenses.

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                Most important web-based resource for the study of Carolingian manuscript illumination at St. Gall. The articles and catalogue descriptions provide invaluable tools for students and researchers. Classrooms equipped with digital projectors (or even a laptop with wireless connectivity) can teach using the database.

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                • Coon, Lynda. Dark Age Bodies: Gender and Monastic Practice in the Early Medieval West. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011.

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                  The architectural rendering on the plan realized a monastic ideal, presenting the linear design as a delimitation of segregated sacred space and the liminal spaces where lay and clerical communities intersected at the fluid boundaries of monastic life.

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                • Eggenberger, Christoph. Psalterium Aureum Sancti Galli: Mittelalterliche Psalterillustration im Kloster St. Gallen. Sigmaringen, Germany: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 1987.

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                  Thorough introduction to one of the most important Carolingian illuminated manuscripts at St. Gall, the Psalterium Aureum (Cod. 22). The book expertly situates this late Carolingian psalter relative to other examples of psalter illustration and Late Antique or early medieval artistic programs within and beyond the walls of the monastery.

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                • Eggenberger, Christoph. “Der Goldene Psalter und die Buchmalerei des Klosters St. Gallen.” In Alemannisches Jahrbuch 2001/2002, 63–84. Freiburg, Germany: Alemannisches Institut, 2003.

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                  Investigates the local and Hiberno-Saxon or Irish contributions to the creation of rich, decorated initials at St. Gall, while tracing the development of the monastic scriptorium during the Carolingian period and surveying the major codices or ivories produced on site. Single-best article on St. Gall production.

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                • Euw, Anton von. Liber Viventium Fabariensis: Das karolingische Memorialbuch von Pfäfers in seiner liturgie- und kunstgeschichtlichen Bedeutung. Bern, Switzerland: Francke Verlag, 1989.

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                  The book is a combination of a commemorative work honoring 4,500 monks of the Benedictine community at Pfäfers, an evangeliary, and an updated running inventory of local treasures. The rich quality of the manuscript illumination reveals the artistic heights regional outliers of the Carolingian world could obtain, fully contextualized here.

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                • Horn, Walter, and Ernest Born. The Plan of St. Gall: A Study of the Architecture and Economy of, and Life in a Paradigmatic Carolingian Monastery. 3 vols. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979.

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                  Although this is the unequivocal starting point for all serious discussions of the St. Gall Plan, the methodological assumptions of the project have compromised its value for researchers. It is better to consider many of the asides and novel interpretations within the three-volume set as opportunities to test various aspects of the Plan of St. Gall, in light of more-recent research and documentation.

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                • Euw, Anton von. Die St. Galler Buchkunst vom 8. bis zum Ende des 11. Jahrhunderts. 2 vols. Monasterium Sancti Galli. St. Gallen, Switzerland: Verlag am Klosterhof, 2008.

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                  The definitive treatment of manuscripts associated with St. Gall.

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                • Nees, Lawrence. “The Plan of St. Gall and the Theory of the Program of Carolingian Art.” Gesta 25.1 (1986): 1–8.

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                  Best article to assign undergraduate survey courses on the plan, because it methodically critiques and evaluates the critical methodological errors espoused in Horn and Born 1979, as well as offering questions that remain relevant for further discussion and research.

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                • Schmuki, Karl, Peter Ochsenbein, and Cornel Dora. Cimelia Sangallensia: Hundert Kostbarkeiten aus der Stiftsbibliothek St. Gallen. 2d ed. St. Gallen, Switzerland: Verlag am Klosterhof, 2000.

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                  Helpful, succinct presentations of the major monuments of St. Gall manuscript illumination.

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                • St. Gall Monastery Plan, Codex Sangallensis 1092: Content and Context.

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                  Exhaustive resource preparing students not only to understand the plan but also to situate it appropriately within its Carolingian context, given the copious evidence drawn from Carolingian visual culture. A complete facsimile of Horn and Born 1979 is included in the database.

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                • Sullivan, Richard E. “What Was Carolingian Monasticism? The Plan of St. Gall and the History of Monasticism.” In After Rome’s Fall: Narrators and Sources of Early Medieval History, Essays Presented to Walter Goffart. Edited by Alexander C. Murray and Walter A. Goffart, 251–287. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998.

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                  This is an excellent survey of the way that the plan ideologically demarcated spaces of inclusion and exclusion in an ideal monastery. Students find the reproduction of the plan in the article easy to navigate and helpful for considerations of how the various buildings relate to one another.

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                LAST MODIFIED: 07/24/2012

                DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195396584-0116

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