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Ornament in the service of God : the precious covers of the Lindau gospels Plant, Jocelyn 2014

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ORNAMENT IN THE SERVICE OF GOD: THE PRECIOUS COVERS OF THE LINDAU GOSPELS   by   Jocelyn Plant   B.A., The University of British Columbia, 2012    A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF   MASTER OF ARTS   in   The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (Art History)    The University of British Columbia (Vancouver)   July 2014   © Jocelyn Plant, 2014  	   ii Abstract 	   The Lindau Gospels are something of an historical anomaly: a medieval manuscript with not one, but two luxurious treasure covers. The same basic elements are present in each cover – the cross, a portrait of Christ, precious materiality – as befitting the early medieval tradition of Gospel covers, yet their appearances are strikingly different. One is remarkable for its visual complexity: colourful enamel plants and animals contrast with the teeming silver interlace set into quadrants. The other is arresting for its sheer three-dimensional materiality and richness of materials, the elevated gems that contrast with the smooth gold at the cover’s centre. In fact, it is what is usually described as ornament that makes both these works so powerful. However, the nature of this ornament on each book cover is different.  Art historians have long noted that they are from different eras and stylistic traditions, one Insular c. 760-790, the other Carolingian, c. 870-880. Yet what is interesting is that these book covers now form the front and back cover of the Lindau Gospel Book, a decorated manuscript made in the abbey of St. Gall in the late ninth century. The book with its covers currently resides in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York. In this paper, I will argue that the ornamental designs of each cover calls for a different engagement with the viewer. My analysis moves back and forth between the two covers to examine the different ways that medieval ornament functions. In the earlier, lower cover, complex visual intricacy and a profusion of diverse forms appeals to the creative impulse of the viewer able to apply their visual literacy to the cover’s forms. In the later, upper cover, the emphasis placed on precious materials requires the viewer to apply the medieval understanding of these materials to their interpretations. In both covers, it is the ornamental nature of each style that dictates interpretation both visually and with regard to various types of meaning. In studying the two diverse medieval styles of the Lindau covers, ornament provides a methodological framework through which to comparatively study the covers as cohesive wholes.        	   iii Preface 	  This thesis is the original, unpublished work of the author, Jocelyn Plant.   Several copyrighted images are used in this thesis with permission. Figure 3 and Figure 4 and the details of these images (figures 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18) are used with the permission of The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Figure 2 is used with the permission of the Cathedral of Trier.   The remaining images are used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/).                                    	  	   iv Table of Contents Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... ii Preface ............................................................................................................................................ iii Table of Contents ........................................................................................................................... iv List of Figures ................................................................................................................................. v Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................ vi 1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 1 1.1 Introduction and History ....................................................................................................... 1 1.2 The Lindau Gospels: Initial Impressions .............................................................................. 4 1.3 Historiography & Scholarship .............................................................................................. 8 1.4 Ornament: A Corrective Framework .................................................................................. 12 2. Historical Context: Medieval Book Covers and Early Medieval Styles ................................... 17 2.1 Medieval Precious Book Covers: Production, Use, and Access ......................................... 17 2.2 Production and Reception: The Audiences of the Lindau Covers ...................................... 22 2.3 Early Medieval Art and Encrypted Vision: Reading the Lower Lindau Cover .................. 24 2.4 The Later Lindau Cover: Precious Materiality and the Carolingians ................................. 28 3. The Lindau Covers .................................................................................................................... 35 3.1 The Lower Lindau Cover: Closely Reading the Central Cross .......................................... 35 3.2 The Upper Lindau Cover: Jeweled Paradise ....................................................................... 43 3.3 The Lower Lindau Cover: From the Center to the Margins ............................................... 46 3.4 From Jewels to Gold: The Cross and Figures of the Upper Lindau Cover ......................... 51 3.5 Reading the Lower Lindau Cover: Symbolism and Interpretation ..................................... 54 3.6 Reading the Upper Cover: The Triumph of Materiality ..................................................... 62 4. Conclusion and Epilogue .......................................................................................................... 66 Figures........................................................................................................................................... 69 Bibliography ................................................................................................................................. 85  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	   v List of Figures  Fig. 1.  Lindau Gospels, view of book. (The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.)……....69 Fig. 2.  Portable Altar, Reliquary of St. Andrew. (Cathedral of Trier Treasury, Trier.)…….70 Fig. 3.  Lindau Gospels, back cover. (The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.)…………71 Fig. 4.  Lindau Gospels, front cover. (The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.)…………72 Fig. 5.  Lindau Gospels, front cover, oblique view from right. (The Pierpont Morgan   Library New York.)……………………………………...........................………….73 Fig. 6.  Emperor Justinian mosaic. (San Vitale, Ravenna.)………………………………….74 Fig. 7.  Empress Theodora mosaic. (San Vitale, Ravenna.)………………………………....75 Fig. 8.  Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of central cross. (The Pierpont Morgan   Library, New York.)…………………………………………………………..…….76 Fig. 9.  Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of upper cross arm. (The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.)……………………………………………………………...…77 Fig. 10.  Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of left cross arm. (The Pierpont Morgan   Library, New York.)………………………………………………………………...78 Fig. 11.  Lindau Gospels, front cover, detail of upper border. (The Pierpont Morgan   Library, New York.)………………………………………………………………...79 Fig. 12.  Lindau Gospels, front cover, detail of upper right quadrant. (The Pierpont   Morgan Library, New York.)………………………………………………………..80 Fig. 13.  Lindau Gospels, front cover, view from side. (The Pierpont Morgan Library,   New York.)………………………………………………………………………….81 Fig. 14.  Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of upper left interlace quadrant. (The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.)……………………………………………………..…82 Fig. 15.  Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of bottom left Evangelist medallion. (The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.)…………………………………………...…83 Fig. 16.  Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of upper border. (The Pierpont Morgan   Library, New York.)………………………………………………………………...83 Fig. 17.  Lindau Gospels, front cover, detail of Christ’s feet. (The Pierpont Morgan   Library, New York.)……………………………………………………………...…84 Fig. 18.  Lindau Gospels, front cover, detail of Sol and Luna. (The Pierpont Morgan   Library, New York.)…………………………………………………………...……84 	   vi Acknowledgements 	   I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Carol Knicely, firstly for leading me to the two Lindau covers. I have benefitted from her help and support in every stage of this project, from its earliest incarnation as a graduate seminar paper to this finished thesis. Her suggestions, enthusiasm, and expertise were invaluable.   Thanks also to my second reader, Dr. Joseph Monteyne, for his involvement and support of my project and for providing a much-needed second perspective. In addition, I have been fortunate to work with faculty members in the AHVA department that challenged me intellectually and helped me improve my own scholarship and critical thinking. Thanks especially to Dr. Maureen Ryan for her support and advice. I am grateful to Lisa Andersen for providing me with her minor syllabus on ornament.   Many thanks to both the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory at the University of British Columbia for their generous support of my work.   Thanks are in order to my friends whose support and companionship have helped me get through this program of study. And finally, above all, many thanks to my family – Janice, David, and Jessica – for their unconditional support and love. I would not be where I am today without you.       	   1 1. Introduction 	  1.1 Introduction and History 	   The Lindau Gospels are something of an historical anomaly: a medieval manuscript with not one, but two luxurious treasure covers. The same basic elements are present in each cover – the cross, a portrait of Christ, precious materials – as befitting the early medieval tradition of Gospel covers, yet their appearances are strikingly different. One is remarkable for its visual complexity – the colourful enamel plants and animals contrasting with the teaming silver interlace set into quadrants. The other is arresting for its sheer three-dimensionality and richness of materials, the elevated gems that contrast with the smooth gold at the cover’s centre. In fact, it is what is usually described as ornament that makes both these works so powerful. However, the nature of this ornament on each book cover is different. Art historians have long noted that they are from different eras and stylistic traditions, one Insular c. 760-790, the other Carolingian, c. 870-880. Yet what is interesting is that these book covers now form the front and back cover of the Lindau Gospel Book, a decorated manuscript made in the abbey of St. Gall in the late ninth century. We cannot be sure when the parts of the book came together. The book with its covers currently resides in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York (figure 1). As an introduction, it is useful to briefly describe what is known of the Lindau Gospel’s history. The leather binding that joins the two covers today is date stamped to 1594 and it is possible that it was at this point that the covers were brought together.1 The history of the unified Lindau book is sketchy at best and any certain date of union cannot be ascertained. The 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  1 This date stamp has led scholars to conclude that 1594 is the most likely date for the union of the two covers. See Paul Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 400-1600 (New York and London: The Pierpont Morgan Library and Oxford University Press, 1979), 24.  	   2 manuscript and the upper cover are believed to be roughly contemporary (c 880) but possibly not made at the same place; however, it is suggested that the cover may have been a royal commission of Charles the Bald.2 The upper Lindau cover is believed to be a court commission because of the splendor and skill of its execution; during his reign, Charles the Bald assembled the best goldsmiths available to produce courtly commissions. The upper Lindau cover is often compared to the Codex Aureus dated to 870, another golden, precious book cover.3 The manuscript on the other hand, is attributed to the abbey of St. Gall, located in present day Switzerland.4 The lower cover (c.760) is believed to be have been made on the continent – modern Germany, Austria, or St. Gall itself, in Switzerland are possible locations – in a monastic workshop with eclectic tastes. The variety of visual traditions mobilized in the design of the lower cover makes it incredibly difficult to pinpoint the provenance of the lower cover to any one location.5 Works discussed in conjunction with the Norse or Insular style of the lower Lindau cover include the Tassilo Chalice and the woodcarvings of the Osberg ship find.6 It seems certain that both covers were front covers of books before they came together to house the 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  2 The upper cover is typically attributed to the Court or Palace School of Charles the Bald; however, it is doubtful that such a school actually existed. Thus the upper Lindau cover, which continues to be associated with Charles the Bald was likely the product of one the main centres of royal activity and patronage under Charles. These centres were St. Denis, Tours, Metz, Reims, and St. Amand. J. M. Wallace-Hadrill, The Frankish Church (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 247. 3 Peter Lasko, Ars Sacra 800-1200, Second Edition (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 57. 4 Paul Needham states that the hand of several known St. Gall scribes can be identified in the Lindau text. He notes that scholars have gone so far as name the commissioner of the text, Hartmut, abbot of St. Gaul from 872-883 on the basis of an extant list of all the manuscripts that he commissioned in his lifetime. Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 24-29. 5 Jacques Guilmain goes to great pains to unpack the anomalous details of the lower Lindau cover. In his argument, the cover features aspects of Insular, Anglo-Carolingian, Frankish, and Scandinavian traditions. He concludes that the lower Lindau cover must have been made in a major workshop exposed to a wide-range of artistic tradition. Indeed, he argues that any attempt to pinpoint the location of the cover – whether to a German, Austrian, of Swiss monastery – cannot be sustained on the basis of stylistic analysis. Jacques Guilmain, “The Enigmatic Beasts of the Lindau Gospels Lower Cover,” Gesta 10, no. 1 (1971): 3-18. Paul Needham agrees with Guilmain, further suggesting that the lack of certainty regarding what manuscript the lower cover originally was made for makes it next to impossible to localize its provenance. Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 26. 6 These works have some similar attributes to the Lindau cover but none are close enough to establish any certain provenance for the Gospel cover. Guilmain, “Enigmatic Beasts,” 7; Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 26. 	   3 same text.7 By 1594, the two covers housed the St. Gall manuscript though no one knows where this manuscript was located until 1691, when the unified book was noted to be in the possession of the Benedictine nunnery of Lindau.8 Modifications have been made to the lower cover especially, which was resized to fit the upper cover (with the addition of a narrow border) and the St. Gall text. Four portraits of the Evangelists were added to the corners of the lower cover, and stylistically these medallion portraits date to either the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries.  Yet it is significant that even in the sixteenth century, an era with a very different artistic taste, this abstract Insular inspired work was treasured and deemed worthy to cover a precious gospel book. Given the medieval affinity for combining styles and historical objects in its art production, and the large number of extant medieval art objects that combine what we think of as distinct artistic styles, it is also possible, though without any concrete historical evidence, to suggest that the two covers could have been brought together as early as the tenth century with the 16th century binding just a repair.9 Any certainty over the date of union cannot be ascertained. It is especially difficult to trace the movement and migration of precious medieval book covers, and very few of the extant medieval manuscripts are now located with their original book covers. This is partly because of the technique of binding precious covers to manuscripts. The precious 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  7 Given the preciousness and luxuriousness of each of the covers, it seems unquestionable that they were originally both designed to be front covers of some type of liturgical book. Jeanne-Marie Musto, “John Scottus Eriugena and the Upper Cover of the Lindau Gospels,” Gesta 40, no. 1 (2001): 1, note 2. 8 Geographically, Lindau is located approximately twenty miles from St. Gall. Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 24. 9  There is a vast corpus of literature on the two (somewhat related) themes of the medieval conception of history and the medieval love of mixing styles. From an art historical perspective, see for example Ilene H. Forsyth, “Art with History: The Role of Spolia in the Cumulative Work of Art,” in Byzantine East, Latin West: Art Historical Studies in Honor of Kurt Weitzmann, ed. Christopher Moss and Katherine Kiefer (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), 53-63 and Dale Kinney, “The Concept of Spolia,” in A Companion to Medieval Art: Romanesque and Gothic in Northern Europe, ed. Conrad Rudolph (Maldon, MA: Blackwell, 2006), 233-252. For a more general description of the medieval conception of time see David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 232. For an exemplary medieval object (one that is discussed by Forsyth) which combines a diversity of styles, see the St. Andrew Reliquary (figure 2). On the St. Andrew reliquary see also, Thomas Head, “Art and Artifice in Ottonian Trier,” Gesta, 36, no. 1 (1997): 65-82.  	   4 covers were attached to wooden boards and then attached to the bound manuscript and thus were not integral to maintaining the binding of the manuscript proper, making them easy targets for reuse.10 The Lindau Gospels certainly attests to this process of cover migrations, especially as the manuscript has two luxurious book covers. It is probable that both Lindau covers were initially made to be front covers. Whatever the date the two book covers came together, the union of the two covers over a single manuscript – covers of a similar format but with decidedly different ornamental styles – provides us with the opportunity to think more closely about the different ways that ornamental style speaks. My analysis will situate the covers firmly within the medieval period and examine the ways in which medieval viewers would engage with these ornamental styles, arguing that the ornamental aspects of each are crucial to interpretation, focusing primarily on the covers themselves. While the two covers ostensibly fulfill the same basic function, even a preliminary visual analysis points to the fact that they do so differently, mobilizing two different medieval visual languages.  1.2 The Lindau Gospels: Initial Impressions 	   What then is apparent in a brief visual analysis of each cover? With both Lindau covers, similar features are immediately prominent: preciousness and the cross. It is appropriate to begin with the cross, an obvious symbolic form for any medieval viewer. In each cover, a cruciform is located at the centre of the layout. In the earlier Lindau cover (figure 3) this is a cross pattée, or splayed cross. It dominates the rear cover and effectively organizes the space. Each arm of the cross splays outwards from a central clioisonée bordered square, flowing into the cover’s rectangular border, dividing the negative spaces between the cross arms into irregular ovoid  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  10 Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 22. 	   5 segments. Except for the anchoring central square and the rectangular border, there is an avoidance of right angles that gives fluidity to the cross and contributes to the sense of movement at work in the lower cover as a whole. The eye of the viewer is pulled this way and that by the multiplicity of the forms and diverse colours.  There are no segments of pure material here; rather the precious material of the lower cover is transformed into a complex play of interlacing forms that weave in, around, and through one another. The arms of the cross are divided into animal and vegetal forms bordered by enamel, with colour interspersed throughout. Christ is present on the lower Lindau cover, yet he too is part of the sense of movement pervading through the overall field. Four identical frontal portrait busts of Christ radiate outwards from the centre of the cross. Their radial nature means that only one portrait bust is oriented upright to the viewer and thus at first glance, Christ’s image does not fix the eye of the viewer but rather encourages this viewer to rotate their head to examine the other three figurative images. Indeed, the radiality of the lower cover suggests the possibility of a divine viewer, one who would be immediately be able to reconcile the cover’s multiple orientations.  The intricacy of the lower cover’s gilt materiality is immediately striking. There are no spaces on the surface left blank; at every turn the viewer confronts the exquisitely crafted surface. Given the medieval love of fine craftsmanship and metalworking, it seems certain that a basic aesthetic appreciation would form part of a viewer’s initial impression of the lower cover. Colour too has a role, for it is colour – in the cover’s border, enameled sections, portraits of Christ, and inset gems – that come closest to fixing the eye of the viewer. The surface of the cover’s quadrants is dominated by teeming animal interlace that seems to be swarming; while flat it is ever so slightly raised above a darker negative space between the lines of the bodies and floral appendages. The relative darkness of the interlace is contrasted by rare segments of colour, 	   6 primarily located on the cross and the outside border that jump out from the interlace. The cross especially, bordered by shiny filigree on the outside and divided into enamel cloisonné shapes on the inside filled with colourful images becomes visible to the viewer because of colour. The eye of the viewer is directed away from the shiny, slightly flattened, filigree because the enamel cloisonné frames are used to create spaces for diverse figurative forms and prominent pearl-like gems. With the visual complexity of the brightly teaming surface, it is colour that demarcates the form of the cross and the division of the space. Thus in a first glance at the lower cover, the cross form is discernable and apparent, but the dominant impression is one of intricacy, of fluidity and dynamism, and visual complexity achieved through incredible craftsmanship. And the complexity of the interlaced and stylized forms of the lower cover tells the viewer that they cannot see, or understand, the visual forms from a superficial reading or brief glimpse. The lower cover’s surface is relentlessly worked; no space is left untouched by the craftsman. This profusion of evidently high-quality design is impressive regardless of whether its parts can be sorted out or its symbolism understood. This dramatically contrasts to the visual strategy of the upper cover which purposefully contrasts the smooth unworked gold with the coloured, raised cabochon gems.  As such, the upper cover (figure 4) creates a different first impression. Here, preciousness of materials for their own sake is central to the cover’s dominant first impression. At the centre of the upper cover, bounded by a border of heavy cabochon gems, is the cross. But the cross on the later cover is not splayed; rather it is resolutely rectilinear, typical of the more classical forms promoted in the Carolingian era. It is also the cross of the crucifixion as Christ’s body is visible, one of his arms attached to each of the cross’ horizontal arms while his body fills the lowest vertical arm of the cross. These are discernable features, yet they do not dominate an initial look 	   7 at the cover. The organization of the space, symmetrical and rigid, is marked by contrasts, and a tension between form, material, and blank spaces. Unlike the lower cover, the entire surface of the upper cover is not filled with forms. On the cross itself and in the (perfectly rectangular) quadrants formed between the cross arms, are sections of pure smooth gold. This blankness makes the richness of the gold visually obvious in a way not at work in the lower cover. Pure spaces of gold call attention to the material itself; the lustrous material preciousness of the gold shines brightest and is most visible in the spaces where it is unadorned. The flatness of the gold is contrasted by the heavy gems rising from the surface of the cover. There is a cluster of jewels in each of the negative quadrants between the arms of the cross, and the large border of the upper cover is formed by a thick pattern of jewels. The bright colours of the jewels, and their various raised heights immediately form a visual contrast with the smoothness of the monochromatic gold. It is difficult to see in frontal photographs but the jewels on the upper Lindau cover are incredibly three-dimensional and literally rise up from the golden background of the cross. This is best appreciated from an oblique view (figure 5). In effect, the gold becomes more visible (and thus more obviously precious) because of its contrast with the gems.   There are, of course, embossed figures set against the sections of gold. Christ on the cross, two figures above his head, and two figures in each of the quadrants. They however, do not command immediate visual attention because they are incised in no way and are almost dwarfed by the scale and height of the jewels. Moreover, the reflective surface of the gold can, in certain lights (see figure of upper cover), obscure the outlines of these figures. In these cases they are visible in a quick reading of the cover but are indiscernible with any certainty or clarity. Like the blank sections of gold, the jewels call attention to the precious materiality of the upper cover. The linearity and strict organization of space in the upper cover calls attention to the materials 	   8 composing the cover. Again, in the medieval world where objects were judged on their craftsmanship and expense, the upper Lindau cover would create a clear impression of wealth, prestige, and status. The pure materiality at work in the upper cover, and in particular the tension created between the gold and gems, means that a first impression of the later Lindau cover is one of opulence, of unequivocal physical wealth. Christ and the cross are present, but they are visually subordinate to material interplay. The cross is most visible as a structuring principle in the design of the upper cover. Indeed, when viewed from the side, it is clear that the jeweled outline of the cross is raised on little arcades of gold so that the embossed figures are sunken below the surface. Even a quick reading or visual impression of the two covers calls attention to the ways in which two different ornamental styles – both striking and materially precious – function. The lower cover is remarkable for its visual intricacy, its sense of movement, and its exquisite craftsmanship while the upper cover is remarkable for its pure materiality, its interplay between organization, gold, and gems, and its resulting impression of overwhelming wealth. These overall impressions are precisely the defining characteristics of the two ornamental visual languages.  1.3 Historiography & Scholarship   Because the styles of the covers seem to emanate from different artistic traditions, art historians, who generally specialize in a specific era, geography or style, have rarely studied the two covers in conjunction.	  This becomes clear in a brief summary of the three English language articles that take either of the Lindau covers as their primary object of analysis.11  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  11 To my knowledge, these are the only English articles dedicated exclusively to the Lindau covers.  	   9 In his article, “The Enigmatic Beasts of the Lindau Gospels Lower Cover” (1971), Jacques Guilmain attempts to evaluate whether it is possible to trace the origins and date of production of the lower cover based on close analysis of its discrete visual forms. Concentrating almost exclusively on the animal interlace, but also the gripping-beast motif in the roundels of the cross stem he notes relationships to Anglo-Saxon art but also early Viking art. He interestingly concludes that there is no convincing basis from which to pinpoint the production of the cover to any specific location, calling attention to the eclecticism of the maker, and suggesting that the cover could have been produced later than 760-780. Guilmain’s article is invaluable for elucidating the history of particular design elements, for helpfully isolating visual forms, and for suggesting more clearly than any other scholar why the Lindau lower cover is so difficult to situate geographically.12 He clearly shows the extent to which animal style elements common to Insular art had spread on the continent, and how by the time the lower Lindau cover was created these styles were interacting with the later Nordic styles from Scandinavia. However, even though Guilmain has a close look at style and specific motifs, he does not consider the impact of ornament on any semantic level or the significance of the cover’s ornamental language.  The opposite is true of Victor Elbern’s article, “The ‘Earlier’ Lindau Book Cover: An Integrated Analysis,” first published in English in 2000.13 While Guilmain traces stylistic motifs with little attention to the impact or meaning of the whole, Elbern argues that the cover presents a symbolic reference to the creation story of Genesis without considering the ornamental manner in which the animal imagery is presented. Elben’s work is anomalous, and admirable, for his 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  12 See Guilmain, “Enigmatic Beasts,” 3-18. 13 Many of Elbern’s arguments were previously published in German; see Victor H. Elbern, “Ein frankisches Reliquiarfragment in Oviedo, die engerer Burse in Berlin und ihr Umkreis,” Madrider Mitteilungen 2 (1961): 183-204. 	   10 attempts to find symbolic meaning in forms that are rarely interrogated because of their stylized, ornamental appearance. However, he fails to question precisely why the animal forms are presented in such a way that makes them ambiguous and difficult to tease out.14 What is missing in both these approaches, valuable as they are, is a sustained look at how form – in its appearance, not only its figurative content – produces meaning for the viewer. This is precisely my project: to closely interrogate the impact, both visually and symbolically, of different ornamental genres.    Indeed, more recent scholarship on Insular, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon art – historical traditions influencing the style of the lower Lindau cover – has challenged the way that style would be engaged by the medieval viewer. Leslie Webster in her article, “Encrypted Visions: Style and Sense in the Anglo-Saxon Minor Arts, A.D. 400-900,” analyses the complex visual literacy required by those makers and viewers of objects in the Anglo-Saxon style. Her description of the status afforded to those who possessed the ability to visually decipher the complex visual forms – an active, literate form of viewing – characteristic of early medieval Anglo-Saxon art was invaluable for my conception of how meaning relates to form and material in the lower cover of the Lindau Gospels.15 There is now a more general trend on Insular and Norse art to examine how important symbolic meaning can be conveyed through more abstract symbols and ornamentally arranged figures than has previously been assumed.16 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  14 Victor H. Elbern, “The ‘Earlier’ Lindau Book Cover: An Integrated Analysis,” in From Atilla to Charlemagne: Art of the Early Medieval Period in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, edited by Kathrine Reynolds Brown et al., 322-334 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000). 15 Leslie Webster, “Encrypted Visions: Style and Sense in the Anglo-Saxon Minor Arts, A.D. 400-900,” in Anglo-Saxon Style, ed. Catherine E. Karkov and George Hardin Brown (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003), 11-30. 16 For two examples of this type of scholarship see the volumes, Anglo-Saxon Styles, ed. Catherine E. Karkov and George Hardin Brown (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003) (which includes the article by Leslie Webster) and Theorizing Anglo-Saxon Stone Sculpture, ed. Catherine E. Karkov and Fred Orton (Morgantown: West Virginia University Press, 2003). 	   11 A very different methodology is applied to the later, upper Lindau cover by Jeanne-Marie Musto in her article “John Scottus Eriugena and the Upper Cover of the Lindau Gospels” (2001). Musto’s stated intention is to understand the curious iconographical details – the eight grieving,	  apparently floating figures that surround the gem clusters in the quadrants between the arms of the cross and the figures of Sol and Luna located above the head of Christ – that are not found anywhere else in medieval art. Musto is especially concerned with the eight mourning figures surrounding the gems clusters in the quadrants. To explain the unusual depiction of such mourning figures in crucifixion imagery, she relies on the writings of the court philosopher of Charles the Bald, John Scottus Eriugena, and especially his text Periphyseon. The bulk of Musto’s analysis works through the relationship between the figures and Christ, and more specifically the relationship between the humans and the angels in the quadrants. In her analysis, Musto traces a relationship between text and image that supplants any sustained examination of how the figures work within the cover in its entirety.17 While it is not her goal to look closely at the visual, her analysis nevertheless creates disjunctions between form, image, and decoration. Musto loses sight of the visual functions of these figures, and the visual whole of the cover.18  Scholarship on the Lindau Gospels, as noted, fails to examine the way that these two different ornamental traditions function. My analysis of these covers will be more aligned with some of the work done on medieval reliquaries that carefully analyses form and material in relation to the meaning of reliquaries.19 Because the sumptuous media have historically been understood as inferior genres in comparison to painting, sculpture, and architecture, there is not a 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  17 Tracing a relationship between image and text is a problematic aspect of much medieval art history that falls under the scope of iconographical analysis. See Brendan Cassidy, “Introduction: Iconography, Texts, and Audiences,” in Iconography at the Crossroads: Papers from the Colloquium Sponsored by the Index of Christian Art, Princeton University 23-24 March 1990, ed. Brendan Cassidy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990). 18 Musto, “Upper Cover of the Lindau Gospels,” 1-18. 19 See for example Cynthia Hahn, Strange Beauty: Issues in the Making and Meaning of Reliquaries 400 circa- 1200 (University Park, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012). 	   12 vast corpus of literature on individual objects.20 Generally speaking, those writing about the earlier Insular style cover tend to focus on a close visual reading devoid of any coherent meaning or a pure analysis of stylistic development, while those examining the later Carolingian cover which includes more legible figurative imagery tend to focus on those figural elements at the expense of the cover’s awesome materiality.  Lost in both approaches is a sustained analysis of how the visual language of the cover itself works, how it might be read, and how a combination of form and active interpretation work to produce meaning for the viewer. And here, what is so interesting is that we have two very different ornamental styles to contrast. This is a lack in scholarship that needs to be addressed. It is essential to understand that figures, as much as non-figurative design, are subsumed by these ornamental styles. Figurative details should not be divorced from the ornamental manner in which they are depicted. By re-conceptualizing each of the covers as totally ornamental, the entire visual fabric of each can be studied not as discrete elements, but as cohesive visual objects. 1.4 Ornament: A Corrective Framework  The framework of ornament can provide a new way of examining the two Lindau covers with the same methodology. Ornament itself is a complicated term. In certain contexts, styles, and scholarship, ornament has been, and is, treated contemptuously. Scholarship that treats ornament or ornamental styles has been heavily influenced by the modernist rejection of ornament, perhaps most vehemently expressed by Adolf Loos in his article “Ornament and Crime” written in the early twentieth century. In his diatribe against ornament, Loos equates ornament with crime, going so far as to suggest that ornament is detrimental to society’s health. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  20 For a historiography of the sumptuous arts and a description of some of the historical biases against them see Brigitte Buettner, “Toward a Historiography of the Sumptuous Arts,” in A Companion to Medieval Art: Romanesque and Gothic in Northern Europe, ed. Conrad Rudolph (Maldon, MA: Blackwell, 2006), 466-467.  	   13 He argues that an erudite viewer cannot gain enjoyment from ornament, that the continuation of ornament would slow the progression of the modern world.21 While Loos is certainly more polemical than most critics of ornament, he points to some of the primary prejudices against ornament that were solidified in the modern period: that ornament is supplemental to a structure or work of art and that ornament is somehow unrelated to the meaning or message of an object.22 This line of argument leads to the logical conclusion that ornament is “merely decorative” (as if “decorative” itself is meaningless, which it is not), furthermore implying that the ornamental aspects of an object could be removed without altering anything fundamental or intrinsic about the object’s meaning or even the object’s being.23 As a consequence, the workings of ornament as such, as opposed to the categorizations of style and motif, have generally not been given serious study.  This is largely true even in the case of Early Medieval art, which is characterized by a high level of ornament, especially in the sumptuous liturgical arts. The Lindau covers are prime examples. Yet since they juxtapose two distinctly different ornamental styles but on objects (Gospel Book covers) that have the same function, in their comparison, we have the opportunity to investigate how the ornamental styles function differently. In the earlier cover, ornament derives ultimately from two different Germanic styles of the migrating tribes. It can be found in the chip carving – the technique where pieces of the worked material’s surface are chipped away to create designs – of the complex Norse silver animal interlace in the quadrants, the colourful stylized enameled animal forms, more associated with the Goths located in the cover’s border, 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  21	  Alfred Loos, “Ornament and Crime,” in Bernie Miller and Melony Ward, editors, Ornament and Crime: The Arts and Popular Culture in the Shadow of Adolf Loos, 29 – 38 (Toronto: YYZ Books, 2002).	  22	  For an overview of the modernist attitudes towards ornament see Ernst Gombrich, “Ornament as Art,” in The Sense of Order: A Study in the Psychology of Decorative Art, 2nd edition, 33 – 62 (London and New York: Phaidon Press, 1984).	  23 Phillip Büttner, “Ornamentation and Recollection: Matisse, Kandinsky, and Mondrian,” in Ornament and Abstraction edited by Markus Brüderlin (Foundation Beyeler and Yale University Press, 2002), 45. 	   14 and in the organization of the cover in its entirety.24 In the later Carolingian cover, which has adapted Late antique and early Byzantine styles, the ornamental is predominantly manifested through materiality. The visual prominence and dimensionality of the gem clusters in contrast with the smooth golden background where Christ is located is a vital aspect of the cover’s visual make-up. The significance of these aspects is typically ignored or dismissed by scholars. In spite of their important contributions to scholarship, Elbern, Guilmain, and Musto, are archetypal examples of this trend.  This bias against ornament has not been unchallenged.25 It is my belief that the notion of ornamental aspects must be rejected in favour of an ornamental visual style as a whole. The ornamental elements of each cover’s design cannot be divorced from the cover. In the traditional binaries of figure and form or content and style, objects can be discussed as if they are somehow separate from their style and the way they are depicted. Figures cannot exist within a larger artwork unless they are depicted in a visual way, and this visual formulation always has a specific appearance. So instead of terming the Lindau covers as ornamental because they have certain ornamental aspects – stylized visual intricacy on one hand, and non-figurative precious gems on the other – their entire make-up should be considered as integrated ornamental designs because each element of their respective designs is subsumed in the entirety of the design. In the upper Lindau cover for example, the figures themselves are wrought with gold. They, as much as 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  24	  By the sixth century these techniques with a prevalence of abstraction and stylization had been comingled to create a very rich repertoire of forms that could be found in Insular art and Merovingian art. The lower Lindau cover seems to be a late derivation of this even with new elements from early Viking art of Scandinavia. For the comingling of these styles in the case of Anglo-Saxon Art see Leslie Webster, Anglo-Saxon Art: A New History (Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2012). For the tracing of motifs in the Lower Lindau cover specifically, see Guilmain, “Enigmatic Beasts” and Elbern, “The ‘Earlier’ Lindau Cover.”	  25 For authors that challenge the modernist bias against ornamentation see for example Norman Bryson, “Centres and Margins in David,” Word & Image 4:1 (1988): 43; Kent Bloomer, The Nature of Ornament: Rhythm and Metamorphosis in Architecture (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000), 14-27.  For a critical discussion of the study of ornament in medieval architecture see Anne-Marie Sankovitch, “Structure/Ornament and the Modern Figuration of Architecture,” The Art Bulletin 80, no. 4 (December 1998): 687-717. For a discussion of ornament and Chinese bronzes see Joseph Leo Koerner, “The Fate of the Thing: Ornament and Vessel in Chou Bronze Interlacery,” RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics 10 (Autumn 1985): 28-46. 	   15 the non-figurative elements, are part of a specific ornamental design. Both Lindau covers were designed with a particular visual language that can be termed ornamental. I use the term visual language because these book covers could closely be deciphered and read, almost like a language.    If the covers are understood as having totally ornamental visual make-ups, then certain aspects of the design – for example figures – are not automatically privileged over other elements. Style and visuality are not mere supports for form or narrative. Each cover achieves the designation of ornamental through different means. In the lower cover, visual intricacy, a diversity of forms, and varied stylization mark it as ornamental. In the upper cover, the total application of precious materiality throughout results in its designation as an ornamental object. Indeed, the same traits that deem the covers as ornamental also allow them to achieve preciousness. In the context of Christian book covers, preciousness was of vital importance.  Furthermore, the role of a book cover – to frame or enclose the interior text – means that the cover in its entirety functions as ornament for the text of the inner book. This is especially significant for the Christian liturgical book covers, whose uses in the medieval period depended on these treasure covers. By thinking of the metalwork cover in this way, each component of the cover can be understood as ornament for the enclosed central text. The figures, the materials, and organization of space: all of these components of the cover are ornament given the overall function of the book cover. The covers are thus ornamental in two regards, in their specific visual languages, and in their functions as frames for an enclosed text. I will examine how the ornamental designs of the covers work both visually and in the production of meaning, demonstrating that contrary to much of the modernist conception of ornament, it is not removable or void of meaning. Rather, the Lindau covers themselves can be conceptualized as 	   16 totally ornamental objects. The task of this paper then is to examine how these diverse ornamental visual languages work, both in terms of design and with respect to viewer engagement. By using ornament as a methodological framework – not as discrete elements but as a description of the entire visual program – the totality of each Lindau cover can be examined without automatically privileging one aspect over another.         	    	  	  	  	  	  	   17 2. Historical Context: Medieval Book Covers and Early Medieval Styles  	  2.1 Medieval Precious Book Covers: Production, Use, and Access 	   Why was such care taken to produce book covers like the Lindau Gospels, objects far removed from our twenty-first century perspective image of religious books? Mass production combined with the Protestant emphasis on the Word has filtered through the centuries to our contemporary moment where bible covers are simple in their design, usually free from any images. There is a belief, pervasive since the Reformation (and still propagated by biblical societies), that everyone should have the right to a bible.26 This is the bible as Everyman’s book, found in almost every hotel in North America, one that is simply designed and small in size. This however, is far removed from the practice of the Middle Ages.  The Lindau Gospel covers are part of a late antique and medieval tradition of precious book covers, made either of ivory or metal. The creation of treasure bindings was part of a larger trend of the Christian adoption of greater ritual splendor in the church once Christianity became an accepted religion in the Roman Empire.27 One tradition the Christians borrowed from the Romans in creating their book covers was that of the Roman consular diptych. These ivory panels, figuratively carved in low relief, were made to mark the ascension of a Roman male to the consular political office. The Christians adopted this form in their creation of ivory book 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  26 For an example of this is phenomenon in contemporary Great Britain see Matthew Engelke, “The Semiotics of Relevance: Campaigning for the Bible in Greater Manchester,” Anthropological Quarterly 84, no. 3 (Summer 2011): 705-735. 27 For the increasing use of precious materials and ritual splendor in the Church following the legitimization of Christianity by Constantine, see Dominic Janes, God and Gold in Late Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). Janes examines in detail the way early Christians used visual imagery and precious materiality, borrowed from secular languages of power, in order to convey their messages to an audience. As an object, the Christian bible was only codified into a coherent document in the centuries following imperial legitimization. Prior to that, Christian texts were used primarily to serve local congregations, and were not originally intended to be sacred texts alongside Jewish scripture. For a description of the evolution of the Christian bible see Harry Y. Gamble, “Bible and Book,” in In the Beginning: Bibles Before the Year 1000, ed. Michelle P. Brown (Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 2006),15-36. 	   18 covers and the first extant Christian ivory book covers date to the late fifth century.28 There was also a tradition of metalwork book covers, used especially in the Eastern Empire and church. The earliest Eastern Christian metalwork cover dates to the late sixth century, while the first known in the West dates to the early seventh century.29 The first textual reference to Christian jeweled book covers dates to 384 in the writing of St. Jerome, who disdainfully mentions the wealthy Christian women “whose books are written in gold on purple vellum, and clothed with gems.”30 While in the earliest days of Christianity wealthy individuals could own precious book covers, by the Early Middle Ages, Christian jeweled books were typically the possessions of monasteries and cathedrals.31 As their opulent covers suggest, these were special books, high status objects. A Christian text decorated in a manner such as the Lindau Gospels was not simply a text to read. It was also an object to be used in the sacred liturgy of the medieval Church. Books used in the liturgy were decorated as if they were reliquaries, housing the gospels as a sacred relic within their precious walls.32 And this, in a certain sense, is accurate. Instead of the material bits and pieces of holy people and objects, the Christian texts contained relics of a different sort: the words attesting to the truth of the faith. More specifically in the case of the Gospels, the textual remains of Christ’s life on Earth, recounted by the Four Evangelists. The luxuriously covered scriptural text was more than a physical object; it visually signified the 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  28 Roman consular diptychs continued to be made in the Christianized centuries (alongside Christian ivory book covers). See for example the Consular Diptych of Rufus Gennadius Probus Orestes currently located at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This diptych, dating to 530, includes visual references to Christianity in its inclusion of a small cross at the top of the panel. 29 Despite the relative scarcity of surviving early medieval Christian ivory and metalwork book covers, there are many visual depictions of jeweled book covers in early medieval art; for example the apse mosaic at Sant’Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna (c. 549), the imperial procession mosaic at San Vitale, Ravenna (c. 532-5470), and the Christ Pantokrator icon from Sinai (sixth century). Paul Needham provides a useful historical overview of the history of treasure book covers. Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 22. 30 Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 21. 31 St. Jerome’s comments on the decoration of Christian books in 384 suggest that wealthy individuals could also own these types of books in the early Middle Ages. Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 22. 32 Joan A. Holladay, “Metalworking,” in Medieval Germany: An Encyclopaedia, ed. John M. Jeep (New York: Garland Publishing, 2001), 520. 	   19 transcendent truth of the faith as presented in the liturgy.33 The precious ornamental make-up of these covers also added to the secular prestige of the owning institution and luxury covers were an integral part of many medieval ecclesiastical treasuries.  Along with ritual objects such as the chalice and paten used in the Eucharistic rite, the preciously covered book was part of the visual experience of the medieval church. While many manuscripts were made in the medieval period, those that received special covers were most often liturgical books, especially the gospel book.34 Any art historical study of these book covers must take into account their primary use in the context of liturgical ceremonial. The medieval mass was an inherently dramatic experience. The Carolingian church, after the reigns of Charlemagne and Pepin, followed the Roman rite.35 Though seen as inherently sober in nature, there was drama to be found in the Roman rite. As Roger E. Reynolds argues, this drama was to be found in the processions incorporated into the mass.36 This is significant as elaborately 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  33 Aidan Nichols, Lost in Wonder: Essays on Liturgy and the Arts (Farnham: Ashgate, 2011), 101. 34 The general category of liturgical book refers to all books read from during the mass. There are extant medieval treasure book covers from other types of liturgical texts, see for example the cover of the Berthold Sacramentary, c. 1215. For an in-depth look on the plethora of books used in the mass and religious office as well as their organization see Andrew Hughes, Medieval Manuscripts for Mass and Office: A Guide to their Organization and Terminology (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1982) and Eric Palazzo, A History of Liturgical Books from the Beginning to the Thirteenth Century, trans. Madeleine M. Beaumont (Collegeville, MN: Pueblo Books, Liturgical Press, 1998). Indeed, Jeanne-Marie Musto suggests it is possible that the upper Lindau cover was originally made for a sacramentary as it emphasizes the cross and has no explicit references to the Evangelists. However, this is impossible to ascertain as not all Gospel book covers (like the lower Lindau cover for example) had Evangelist symbols and for the sake of my argument the upper Lindau cover will be treated as a Gospel cover. Musto, “Upper Cover of the Lindau Gospels,” 1, note 2 35 In the pre-Carolingian period, the Frankish church used the Gallican rite, more influenced by Eastern traditions than that of the Latin West, in the performance of the mass. During the reigns of Charlemagne and Pepin, the Roman rite was adopted as a strategy to allow the Carolingian rulers greater standardized control of the church. This adoption of the Roman rite meant that the mass now followed the Roman ordines, or texts describing how the mass was to be staged. On the earlier Gallican rite see R. C. D. Jaspar and G. J Cuming, Prayers of the Eucharist: Early and Reformed (Collegeville, MN: Pueblo Books, Liturgical Press, 1990), 147 and Nicholas Paxton, “The Communion Rites of Early Medieval France,” Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association 3 (2007): 269-288. On the Carolingian adoption of the Roman rite see Roger E. Reynolds, “Image and Text: A Carolingian Illustration of Modifications in the Early Roman Eucharistic Ordines,” Viator 14 (Jan 1983): 60, 62 and Roger E. Reynolds, “The Drama of Medieval Liturgical Processions,” Revue de Musicologie 86, no. 1 (2000): 127. 36 Reynolds, “The Drama of Medieval Liturgical Processions,” 128. 	   20 covered Gospel books were carried in processions.37 The drama of these processions could be heightened by the use of candles that would be carried alongside the Gospels or other liturgical book such as the Sacramentary used by bishops.38 Light provided by candles would play with the surface of an ornate metalwork cover like those of the Lindau Gospels, dramatically increasing the visual impact of the covers just as the gold and jewels of the covers add to the spectacle of the ceremony.  A famous visual record of a procession within the church including elaborately decorated books can be found in the mosaics at San Vitale in Ravenna (dedicated in 547) where there are two processions, one featuring the Emperor Justinian (figure 6) on the north wall and on the opposite south wall, Empress Theodora (figure 7). These processions face one another and are set below and on either side of the central apse image of Christ in Heaven. On the north wall, the procession is led by the archbishop (the figure most foregrounded in the mosaic; this is the arch bishop Maximianus with his name inscribed above) who carries a jeweled cross, appropriately following the clerical hierarchy. To his left, are two deacons; one carries a golden, jeweled Gospel, the other carries incense. On the south wall, presumably still in the forecourt of the church, the Empress Theodora simultaneously leads the accompanying procession, followed by a retinue of female handmaids in elaborate dress, towards the altar inside, carrying a jeweled chalice. Art historian Thomas F. Mathews argues that these processions represent the First Entrance, which was the first component of the Byzantine liturgy. In the First Entrance, the emperor and empress were required to make a donation to the church.39 These processional 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  37 Reynolds, “The Drama of Medieval Liturgical Processions,” 135. 38 Palazzo, History of Liturgical Books, 94. 39 Mathews’ interpretation of the San Vitale procession mosaics challenges the theory that these processions illustrate the presentation of the bread and the wine of the offertory. He argues that the vessel carried by Theodora would be too large to carry the Eucharistic wine and would instead contain a material gift for the church. Her entrance from the atrium (evident because of the fountain on Theodora’s right) also indicates the First Entrance. 	   21 mosaics move towards the apse mosaic of Christ, slightly behind the altar, suggesting that the objects carried in the procession are both to be used in the rites of the mass and gifts to honour Christ.40 Thus even in the sixth century, precious ornamental Gospel books were an important component of processions in the mass.41   Carrying treasure Gospel books in processions became standard during the Middle Ages, both inside and outside the built church. In both the East and the West, religious processions, often emphasizing icons and relics, also took place in cities and countryside. In these processions, a cross and a Gospel book that stood in for the altar of the built church would be included.42 This points to the inextricable relationship between the rites of the church, like the Eucharist, that took place at the altar and the Gospel book. It was the ritual function of such books that allows them to be considered liturgical objects alongside the likes of the chalice, paten, pyx, and liturgical cross. This liturgical function meant that these books were usually housed with the other liturgical objects, often at the altar. When not in use they would be housed, like liturgical works, in the treasury (which could be close to the altar) instead of a library room.43 The Rationale Divinorum Officiorum by William Durandus, a later thirteenth-century medieval text on the symbolism of the built church and its rituals points to the relation between the Gospel and the altar. Durandus states that the “book of the Gospel is fixed on the altar, 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  Thomas F. Mathews, The Clash of Gods: A Reinterpretation of Early Christian Art (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 169-171. 40 Mathews, Clash of the Gods, 171. 41 These mosaics, and the artistic culture of Ravenna were known to the Carolingians. Charlemagne himself traveled to Ravenna on numerous occasions and visited San Vitale. The design for his palace chapel was heavily modeled on San Vitale and he was given permission by the pope to remove both marbles and mosaics from Ravenna, transferring them to the sites of his building projects in Aachen. These types of artistic encounters are typical of the so-called Carolingian Renaissance whereby Charlemagne and his successors were influenced by the visual language of the late antique Roman Empire. On Charlemagne and his relationship to Ravenna, see Rosamond McKitterick, Charlemagne: The Formation of a European Identity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 169, 339. 42 On the Eastern tradition see, Nichols, Lost in Wonder, 71-72. There is an interesting account dating to 1020 of a procession of the reliquary of Ste. Foy in the Western church. This procession is described as highly dramatic, complete with relics, a holy cross, candles and lamps, musical instruments, and a Gospel book. Pamela Sheingorn, trans., The Book of Sainte Foy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995), 120-124. 43 Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 23. 	   22 because the Gospel had Christ for its author, and beareth witness to him. Which book is therefore adorned on the outside… the book of the gospel is in some churches adorned on the outside with gold and gems…”44 Thus by the thirteenth century, it had become commonplace for the Gospel to be decorated and located at the altar, the result of a long tradition of such practice.  The authority given to the words contained within the Gospel was, and is, central to the Christian faith. The Word of God, as recorded in the Gospels, was Christianity. Christ himself was the Word incarnate.45 In certain cases, the authority of the Gospels could be mobilized in ordination rites, for example in the consecration of new Bishops. A Gospel book was held open either over the candidate’s head or upon his shoulders (while a second priest read from another Gospel book), denoting the textual legitimacy of the candidate’s ascension to office. In this case, it would be paramount to have a luxuriously decorated Gospel book.46 In these ritual uses of the Gospels, the visual impact of the covers was paramount. The Gospel functioned as an object as well as a text, and it was the ornamental cover that allowed it to fulfill its ritual role to a great degree. The precious ornament of the Gospel cover denoted the Gospels as a sacred, legitimizing text. For most medieval viewers, the Gospel would be encountered and signified primarily through the ornamental cover.  2.2 Production and Reception: The Audiences of the Lindau Covers 	   The use of medieval Gospel books in the liturgy, church processions, and rite indicates that these covers had a viewing audience. It is important however to note that different audiences had different access to the luxury book covers. While members of the congregation or people 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  44 Guilielmus Durandus, The Rationale Divinorum Officiorum (The Foundational Symbolism of the Early Church, its Structure, Decoration, Sacraments and Vestments (Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2007), 56, 130. 45 William J. Diebold, Word and Image: An Introduction to Early Medieval Art (Boulder: Westview Press, 2000), 18. 46 Roger E. Reynolds, “Image and Text: The Liturgy of Clerical Ordination in Early Medieval Art,” Gesta 22, no. 1 (1983): 30-31.  	   23 watching a procession would be able to glimpse the book covers, less people would have the opportunity to do sustained looking. These medieval metalworks came out of the monastic culture, where both artisans and monks worked to produce manuscripts and liturgical objects. Without delving into the history of metalworking, the craft and skill associated with these luxurious objects were part of their high status, both in the case of continental and Insular or Hiberno-Saxon traditions. Hand in hand with the prestige associated with artistic forms now categorized as craft was the esteem given to the best craftsmen or artisans during the medieval period. Two integral components in evaluating medieval art for contemporaries were the relative wealth spent on the object and the skill of its craftsmanship.47 Goldsmiths in particular were valued by the tenth century, and they are amongst the few medieval artists whose names have passed to us though history.48 Indeed, the only artist ever to be canonized as a saint was the seventh-century goldsmith (St.) Eligius.49 While the objects were high status and had prestige because of their craftsmanship in a secular sense, this craftsmanship also proved their worth as a gift to God. In the intricacy of medieval metalwork, like that of the Lindau covers, there is a sense that they were made as a gift to God, who like a medieval viewer, would get pleasure from looking at these objects. As a divine, all-knowing viewer, God would immediately understand the entirety of each cover’s makeup.  In the context of medieval monastic production, it would only be the makers, monastic community, and clerical officers that would be able to closely look at the covers over an extended period of time. Meyer Schapiro points to the popular viewer of medieval art that 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  47 Madeline Harrison Caviness, “Reception of Images by Medieval Viewers,” in A Companion to Medieval Art: Romanesque and Gothic in Northern Europe, ed. Conrad Rudolph (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2006), 66. (65-85). 48 Some of these esteemed goldsmiths were Raoul, goldsmith of King Philip the Fair, and Nicholas of Verdun (d. 1205). Buettner, “Historiography of the Sumptuous Arts,” 469. 49 Eligius was the court artist for two Merovingian kings. Buettner, “Historiography of the Sumptuous Arts,” 467. 	   24 viewed it with an eye that was primarily interested in an aesthetic experience; however, the aesthetic impact of such art would also be apparent to those with sustained access to the covers. Aesthetic impact, like ornament, is related to potential meanings.50 The people that had the most access to the covers – their patrons, makers, and ecclesiastical officers – were those best able to visually unpack the splendor of the covers. Moreover, this small viewing audience would, because of their familiarity with the specific object or with Christian theology, be better able to find more complex meanings embedded in the covers.  My approach in analyzing the covers is to go from the simple to the complex, beginning with the dominant impressions of each cover –discernable to a wider medieval audience – and then work towards the details that would be knowable only through sustained looking.   2.3 Early Medieval Art and Encrypted Vision: Reading the Lower Lindau Cover 	   These two ornamental styles – each with a dramatically different impression – stem from two different medieval visual traditions: on the one hand, Insular and Germanic metalwork, on the other, the late antique model. These two styles, visually diverse, called for a different type of visual interaction with their respective viewers.  While the lower Lindau Gospel was produced on the continent in a Carolingian monastery, this cover can be understood as coming out of the stylized polychrome and animal art tradition which came to the fore with the migration of Germanic and Nordic tribes into Europe and both England and Ireland.51 Although forms have been shown to be somewhat influenced by Roman metalworking, in the end the look is very different. 52 Germanic animal style is based on 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  50 Meyer Schapiro, “On the Aesthetic Attitude in Medieval Art,” in Romanesque Art: Selected Papers by Meyer Schapiro (New York: George Braziller, 1977), 15. 51 Curiously there are no apparent Celtic forms on the lower cover; for example, there are no spirals or triskele forms. 52 Roman traditions mingled with tribal culture by the late fourth century, especially at the Roman military frontiers. Thomas S. Burns, Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C – A.D. 400 (Baltimore & London: The John Hopkins 	   25 animal forms and later interlaced animal forms in chip carving technique often in silver gilt and was predominant in jewelry first in Scandinavia and Germany from the early 5th century. The other style, often referred to as Polychrome style, came from the Baltic and is associated with the art of the Goths. It has animal imagery as well but is created in cloisonné or cabochon technique using gold and coloured gems or enamel.  Fusions of both these styles occurred by the sixth century and in Anglo-Saxon England and Ireland they could be intermingled with native Celtic spiral and knotwork, especially evident in Christian Insular manuscript painting.53 The aesthetic of these works is very different from late antique Roman art. Here an emphasis was placed on highly intricate, abstract, flat and stylized designs, rarely with any narrative figurative imagery. Interlace and cloisonné were applied to the surface of these objects whose surfaces were dominated by visual play.54 Elites coveted this metalwork, which became a high status form of personal decoration and adornment and used on ceremonial weaponry.55 With the conversion to Christianity, this style was applied to Christian art, fusing intricate Germanic and Celtic forms with Christian iconography and contexts.56 The intricacy and workmanship that made Insular 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  University Press, 2003), 350-352. These early medieval styles were produced throughout Europe, including the British Isles, and relied on trade, migration, and the movement of objects, in order to spread artistic styles. It is important to remember that this was a period of cultural circulation between Scandinavia, the Continent, the Mediterranean world, Anglo-Saxon culture, and Insular Celtic tradition. See George Speake, Anglo-Saxon Art and its Germanic Background (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 10. 53 For a good introduction to the art of the migrating groups in early medieval Europe see Martin Werner, “Migration and Hiberno-Saxon Art,” in Dictionary of the Middle Ages, Volume 8, ed. Joseph Strayer (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1987), 363-376. 54 The variety of techniques used in this artistic tradition each have their own history. The volume From Attila to Charlemagne: Arts of the Early Medieval Period in The Metropolitan Museum of Art ed., Katherine Reynolds Brown et al (New Haven: Yale University Press and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000) provides detailed introductory chapters on the history, use, and influence of such motifs by focusing on objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  55 On the use of precious metalworks in newly emergent fifth-century aristocracy in continental Europe, see Lawrence Nees, Early Medieval Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 82-83. 56 For an examination of the complex relationship between pre-Christian animal art, the transition to Christianity, and the symbolism of early medieval art see Carola Hicks, Animals in Early Medieval Art (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 1993), 8-9. 	   26 style art prestigious in a secular context had a similar effect in the transition to Christian art. The intricacy of such art made it an appropriate, high-status gift to God.  Central to my interpretation of how the lower Lindau cover would be read is the notion of “encrypted vision” that I am borrowing from Leslie Webster. In her brief chapter titled “Encrypted Visions: Style and Sense in the Anglo-Saxon Minor Arts, A.D. 400-900,” from the book Anglo-Saxon Styles edited by Catherine E. Karkov and George Hardin Brown, Webster describes how Anglo-Saxon styles require a certain type of visual literacy that allows style (which can too often be seen as pure style) and form to cognitively mean something to the viewer, and that these intricately designed objects were meant to be deciphered and read in addition to simply being seen. There was also prestige to be had for the viewer in possessing the visual literacy to decipher embedded meanings. The repetition of a similar visual conventions over time (similar frameworks and motifs) meant that the viewers who were able to decipher the embedded meanings in the forms themselves would gain increasing proficiency in reading these visual styles; in essence, reading this visual language (as with any language) would get easier over time; however without practice, this literacy could be lost.  In the transition from a pagan to Christian culture, Christian symbols were incorporated into this visual language, mobilizing the established visual language to integrate new ideas with the old. Thus the familiar Insular or Anglo-Saxon style would help facilitate the transmission of new ideas by framing them in a recognizable manner, adding clearly perceivable status to newly Christianized objects. The ambiguous animal forms, apotropaic motifs, and hierarchical framing continue to be deployed in a Christian society as visual riddles in innovative fusions of Anglo-Saxon tradition and Christian iconography.57 There is also an interesting parallel between a visual reading of the rear Lindau cover and the textual reading of the written words of the gospel 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  57 Webster, “Encrypted Visions,” 14. 	   27 writers inside. Both call for a type of decoding, and this decoding is both a marker of status and essential for interpreting the object of analysis.58  Some key points Webster makes about Anglo-Saxon style proper are its tendency to hieratic space: “the visual language is compartmentalized according to various carefully observed hierarchies.”59 Along with this ordered division of space is the frequent use of frames. She emphasizes the way that seemingly abstract, stylized forms (especially animal forms) can actually deliver messages to the viewer trained in the visual language about origin myths, political status, and social status. All of these elements are at work in the lower cover of the Lindau Gospels. The hierarchically organized space (whereby the most important elements are in the most prominent locations), the fusion of Christian and Anglo-Saxon or Insular forms, and the emphasis placed on framing, are all apparent in even a brief, uninformed glimpse of the lower cover. The idea of encrypted vision as a way of reading the visual allows us to move beyond the idea, pervasive in Insular or Anglo-Saxon artwork, that forms are either devoid of symbolic meaning or that there is one fixed symbolic meaning. With the concept of visual literacy posited by Webster, forms themselves can offer a range of symbolic associations and thus interpretations of the visual are never stable and permanent.  Webster’s conception of how Anglo-Saxon art was viewed corresponds with the ideas of Meyer Schapiro, writing some decades before Webster. Schapiro sought to answer a different question than Webster, namely whether non-Christian forms (with associated symbolic meanings) can still exist in Christian art. In Schapiro’s conception of Insular style Christian art, “the alternatives are not, as is often supposed, religious meaning or no meaning, but religious or secular meanings, both laden with affect. Like metaphor in poetry, such marginal decoration is 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  58 Webster, “Encrypted Visions,” 20-21. 59 Ibid., 14. 	   28 also a means of dwelling in an enjoyed feeling or desire.”60 This notion provides a reminder that certain symbolic associations and connections can be retained even following a change in worldview; it is possible to bring pagan or secular associations to Christian art. Moreover, since these artistic styles have always been associated with elite objects – reserved for high status adornment and weaponry of the elites because of their obvious quality and intricacy – they were themselves indicators of status even without the ability to decipher. We can then challenge the notion of a totally Christian artwork; not every visual form needs to conform to Christian symbolism. In this more detailed visual analysis of the earlier Lindau cover then, I aim to recreate the process through which a medieval viewer with access to the cover could produce symbolic meaning by reading the forms of the object. In this process, it is important to resist the temptation of dividing the cover into discrete parts. Rather it is important to think about how the different components or visual features interact and play with one another to create meaning for the viewer. This is especially important for the earlier Lindau cover whose ornamental style is characterized by a diverse play of visual forms. 2.4 The Later Lindau Cover: Precious Materiality and the Carolingians 	   The second Lindau cover was produced in an era that saw the revival of the tradition of late antique visual culture of the Roman West, originated by Charlemagne with his efforts to revive the Roman Empire in the West. For the early institutional church, the display of material wealth was a contentious issue. Christ himself advocated a life of poverty, and had appropriately died a pauper. Nowhere in scripture was there a template for how to create the institutional or built church. In the late antique period, the most accessible model of power was that of the 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  60 Though I would challenge Schapiro’s use of the word ‘marginal,’ I believe that his understanding of symbolic or emotional meaning in all parts of medieval Christian art to be a valuable framework. See Meyer Schapiro, “The Religious Meaning of the Ruthwell Cross,” in Late Antique, Early Christian and Medieval Art: Select Papers by Meyer Schapiro (New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1979), 181. 	   29 Roman Empire, and the church began to take on imperial trappings, creating an imperially influenced Christian language of power.61   The early church relied on the literary genre of biblical exegesis to reach a coherent position on precious materials. As a method of interpretation, biblical exegesis attempted to reconcile the diverse texts of Scripture into a coherent model for Christian life.62 Scripturally, the Jewish Old Testament was full of references to treasure, for example in the Tabernacle of the Jews, the Temple of Solomon, and the richly illustrative Song of Songs while the later New Testament, written at a time when Christianity was categorized by poverty, is relatively free from any material richness. The notable exception in the New Testament is John of Patmos’ vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem in the Book of Revelations, itself borrowing some visual language from the Old Testament.63 Through the literary exercise of biblical exegesis, time and space were elided to create universal truths; thus the seemingly disparate episodes of John of Patmos’ vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem from the Book of Revelations and the material splendor of the Jewish Kings of the Old Testament were read together to develop a coherent position on treasure.64 As 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  61 I have previously mentioned an example of this: the early Christian ivory book covers were adopted from the imperial commemoration ivories.  62 Janes, God and Gold, 63. 63 Ibid., 61. 64 Dominic Janes, “The World and its Past as Christian Allegory in the Early Middle Ages,” in The Uses of the Past in Early Medieval Europe, ed. Y. Hen and M. Innes (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 103-104. Both the Song of Songs and John of Patmos’ vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem were understood as allegories of the Church and two different versions of God’s divine plan, thus it is logical that both of these visions were used to create a vision for the built, material church on earth. For a description of the link between the Song of Songs and the Book of Revelations see E. Ann Matter, The Voice of my Beloved: The Song of Songs in Western Christianity (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990), 89. However, this use of Old Testament luxury as a Christian precedent was not unconditionally accepted and uncontested. For example, the later Cistercian Bernard of Clairvaux opposed the use of rich display in monastic settings. Well aware of the oft-repeated rationale based on the imagery of the Old Testament, Bernard of Clairvaux instead disparagingly alludes to this rationale when describing the use of precious materials in monastic settings in his Apologia to Abbot William, saying that “to me they somehow represent the ancient rite of the Jews.” Translation taken from Conrad Rudolph, The “Things of Greater Importance”: Bernard of Clairvaux’s Apologia and the Medieval Attitude Toward Art (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990), 279.  	   30 Herbert Kessler eloquently notes, “both the lost paradise and its promised replacement, the beginning and the end of the Bible, are figured in terms of materials prevalent in medieval art.”65 In this exegetical tradition, physical materials became equated with moral qualities. Precious materials, through biblical exegesis became inextricably linked with goodness. In this tradition, the material that was associated with the most goodness was gold, the material that forms the surface of the upper Lindau cover. Gold was associated with eloquence, clarity, the splendor of eternal life, and spiritual beauty.66 As John of Patmos describes, in his vision of the Heavenly Jerusalem, the city itself was “pure gold like to clear glass.”67 By the Middle Ages, precious materials, coupled always with colourful varieties of gems, became imbued with spiritual and religious meanings, and as such, were required in the built church and its objects to properly honour God, leading to the creation of ornamental styles characterized by an overabundance of luxurious materials.68 Alongside the exegetical interpretation of precious materials, during the medieval period there was also a relationship between the visible and invisible, the mundane and the divine. The most influential early Christian writer on the relationship between the material and immaterial was St. Augustine. With regards to the materiality of medieval Christian art, what is important in Augustine’s thought is that it is impossible to contemplate the divine without experiences gained by engaging with the material world.69 At the most basic level it is possible to argue that 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  65 Herbert L. Kessler, Seeing Medieval Art (Peterborough: Broadview Press, 2004), 20-22. 66 Janes, God and Gold, 77-78. 67 Rev. 21: 18. All bible passages in this paper have been taken from English translation of the Latin Vulgate bible. 68 By the Middle Ages, descriptions of liturgical works with the description ex auro et gemmis was frequently used, meaning the object was both gold and jeweled. For an example of such description (here describing a now lost eleventh-century precious liturgical book cover) see Francis Newton, The Scriptorium and Library at Monte Cassino 1058-1105 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 19. 69 Augustine believed that there were three levels of seeing. The first and lowest was corporal vision, or what one could see with their eyes in the physical world. The second was spiritual vision that is based upon images, largely gathered from corporeal vision in the mind (imagination or dreams). The third and supreme level of vision, occurring in the highest level of the mind, was intellectual. It was in this intellectual level that divine realizations 	   31 religious artworks in the built church were intended to give the viewer a “foretaste of paradise through the senses,” aesthetically allowing the material to foreshadow the immaterial.70 It thus follows that objects imbued with theological beauty would help the soul contemplate the divine. This relationship, contemplating physical objects as a way of accessing the spiritual, provides a neat parallel for the reading of the sacred scripture itself, housed inside luxurious covers. Like the contemplation of the decorated exterior of the books, reading the words on the pages inside allowed the viewer/reader greater spiritual access to the divine, especially when contemplated in a multi-leveled exegetical manner.  Also affecting the medieval relationship to precious materials was the genre of the lapidary. The lapidaries emphasized the miraculous qualities associated with gems and precious stones which could include a wide range of medicinal and miraculous powers.71 This was a tradition borrowed from antiquity but there were also Christian lapidaries that dealt specifically with the stones described as the foundation stones of the Heavenly Jerusalem in John’s vision in Apocalypse 21. John lists these twelve precious stones, “jasper… sapphire… chalcedony… emerald… sardonyx… sardius…   chrysolite… beryl… topaz… chrysoprasus… jacinth… 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  could occur. On Augustine, vision, and materiality see Cynthia Hahn, “Vision,” in A Companion to Medieval Art: Romanesque and Gothic in Northern Europe, ed. Conrad Rudolph (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 2006), 45-46. 70 There is a great deal of scholarly debate on the role of Platonic or Pseudo-Dionysian thought in the medieval attitude towards artworks. The link between Pseudo-Dionysian thought and medieval art and architecture is typically attributed to the twelfth-century writings of Abbot Suger of St. Denis writing on the newly completed abbey church. For example, in describing his chalice built of sardonyx, antique spolia, and silver-gilt, Suger explains, “the loveliness of the many-coloured gems has called me away from my external cares, and worthy meditation has induced me to reflect, transferring that which is material to that which is immaterial… and by the grace of God, I can be transported from this inferior to that higher world in an analogical manner.” Suger, Abbot Suger on the Abbey Church of St-Denis and Its Art Treasures, ed. Erwin Panofsky, 2nd edn. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979), 62-65. While Erwin Panofsky explained these sentiments through Suger’s reliance on Pseudo-Dionysian thought, Peter Kidson challenges this almost canonical belief, suggesting that Suger’s writings merely point to his own experience of engaging with precious materiality in the church. As such, there is scant evidence for the medieval use of this philosophy in art production, but a strong case for a precious material world suggesting the presence of heavenly paradise. Peter Kidson, “Panofsky, Suger and St. Denis,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 50 (1987): 7. 71 Janes, God and Gold, 79; Kinney, “The Concept of Spolia,” 235. 	   32 amethyst.”72 The gemstones described as adorning the Heavenly Jerusalem, like those on the two covers of the Lindau Gospels, encompass a wide range of colours. Gemstones, colours, and materials became imbued with spiritual and moral qualities.73 Thus a medieval viewer would apply a wide-range of associations to precious materials in Christian objects.   One such object was the later, upper Lindau cover. This cover was produced in the historical context of the so-called Carolingian Renaissance, whereby the ruling elites of the Germanic lands under Charlemagne attempted to style themselves after the late Christian Caesars of Rome and the Jewish Kings of the Old Testament.74 The intricate surface decoration and ornately interlaced forms that previously had been produced on the continent (like the lower Lindau cover) were replaced by a style that privileged more straightforward visual legibility and material opulence, and certainly calls for a different type of reading by viewers.    While there were indeed major developments in cultural production during the Carolingian era (especially in scribal culture with the invention of the Carolingian miniscule), the tradition of monasteries producing luxury manuscripts and book covers for the ruling elites predates the Carolingians.75 This was the culture that had produced the earlier Lindau cover. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  72 Rev. 21: 19-20. It is useful to recall that similar language is used by Ezekiel in his description of the Garden of Eden in the Old Testament. Ez. 28:13. 73 See for example Durandus’ Rationale Divinorum Officiorum. Throughout the text, Durandus mentions the characteristics associated with each colour (for example green suggests temperance) and the use of specific materials (like gold and silver) for certain church fixtures. By Durandus’ time, the symbolism of the church as expressed through the visual had effectively been canonized. Materials could be associated with multiple virtues, not simply a one to one correlation. What is important to note is that the contemplation of precious materials could lead to such thoughts.  74 The term Carolingian Renaissance is somewhat problematic as it implies widespread, systematic cultural change across the Frankish (Carolingian) territories. This in actually was not the case and different parts of the empire responded differently to central cultural policies. For example, the Eastern Frankish lands were little affected by religious reforms and attempts to visually align artistic production with late antique Christian Rome. The visual influence of the Old Testament kings would be imprecise due to the reliance on textual sources. For a detailed analysis of Carolingian culture during this period see Herbert Schutz, The Carolingians in Central Europe, Their History, Arts, and Architecture: A Cultural History of Central Europe, 750-900 (Leiden: Brill, 2004).  75 These sort of artistic commissions had also taken place during the previous Merovingian era. Rosamond McKitterick, Books, Scribes, and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, Sixth to Ninth Centuries (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1994), 173-207. 	   33 However, the earlier style was dropped in favour of a style that favoured representational art with a clearly legible message and propensity for rectilinear framing and balance.76 In the words of cultural historian Herbert Schutz, “within a relatively short time, heavily influenced by art forms of the Mediterranean cultures, this Renavatio favoured a shift to Classical styles, and applied more of the anthropomorphic, homocentric, representational, narrative and… message-oriented religious and political art as part of the Christianization, centred on representations of the human effigy, especially that of Christ.”77   The return to the human form, more legibly depicted than in the Insular tradition, makes Carolingian art highly susceptible to art historical approaches that privilege the figural over the material.78 However, this was an artistic style that was motivated by visions of rulership taken from the late antique Christian emperors and Old Testament Kings. Given the relationship between biblical exegesis and Old Testament wealth, there certainly would be an understood relationship between precious material and meaning. A medieval viewer of the later Lindau cover would combine their knowledge of Christian narrative with a nuanced understanding of the religious significance of precious materiality, that had in fact, already been associated with Late Antique imperial tastes even before Constantine due to its associations with divinity.79 As an initial reading of the upper Lindau cover demonstrates, awesome play of precious materiality that dominates the visual field of the cover. While the Carolingians returned to figurative design, 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  76 Schutz, Carolingians in Central Europe, 157. 77 The term renavatio refers to the ‘renovation’ or return to a certain type of Classical culture, in this case late antique Christian imperialism. Schutz, Carolingians in Central Europe, 136, 158. 78 For example, in her article on the upper Lindau cover Jeanne-Marie Musto privileges the figures over the awesome material elements of the cover. 79 Cassidy, “Introduction: Iconography, Texts, and Audiences,” 7. Cult statues in pagan antiquity were also often covered in ivory, gold, and gems and treasure was piled up as gifts in temple treasuries. The pagan gods were also associated with precious materials like gold. For example, Apollo was typically described in poetry as having a gold cloak. See, the Beatrice Caseau, “Sacred Landscapes,” in Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Post-Classical World, ed. G. W. Bowersock et al., (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999), 23-24 and Dominic Janes, “Gold” in Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Post-Classical World, ed. G. W. Bowersock et al., (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999), 474.  	   34 figures were only one component of the design and are themselves inundated with precious materiality. In the Carolingian style of the later cover, figurative forms function as one aspect of a totally ornamental visual language, and the precious materials themselves would carry religious significance and symbolic associations.                    	   35 3. The Lindau Covers 	  3.1 The Lower Lindau Cover: Closely Reading the Central Cross 	   The covers apply two very different visual languages. With the Insular tradition, the love of rich intricacy in design goes along with an embedded – even riddle-like – meaning often of an abstract, symbolized nature. The more classical Romanizing style of the upper cover inserts figurative imagery, together with ornate and precious materiality but with a different rectilinear design. By working though each cover, beginning with the areas that create the greatest initial impressions, these differences become apparent.   Significantly, it is difficult to tease out all of the details in the lower cover. This is a style that forces the viewer to closely look at what is being depicted, a complex visual language. Every space is filled, multiple frames and spaces of design are created, features are included that may be symbolic yet also provide decided visual interest. In the lower Lindau cover, visual play, detail, ambiguity, and interest are brought to the fore, forcing the viewer to work through the complex design. This is what my visual analysis aims to do here: work through the ornamental surface of the lower cover, examining form, organization, and style.   While the Insular style does not privilege a rectilinear design in the same way as the later Lindau cover, certain sections are still marked as visually important. Most visible in the lower cover is the colourful cross form that organizes the space of the metalwork’s surface (figure 8). At the centre of the splayed cross is an inset red gem located in a golden rhomboid within a square section bordered by red enamel cloisonné. At each corner of the cloisonné border is a round white stone also enclosed by red enamel. Triangular sections form between the red enameled edges of the square’s border and the outline of the rhombus that contains the red gem. Each of these triangular sections includes an inscription of precisely three letters. The four 	   36 inscriptions read IHS, XPS, DNS, NOS, abbreviations of Iesus Christus Dominus Noster, which translates to Jesus Christ Our Lord.80 Radiating out from the central square are four identical half-length champlevé enamel portraits of Christ framed by the same red enamel band as is present in the centre of the cross. The head of Christ in each of the four portraits, marked by a cross nimbus, is oriented towards the end of the cross branch on which it is located. The figuration of Christ is very stylized. He is rendered immobile, depicted frontally with a mask-like face. His right arm covers his chest. The cross nimbus visually identifies him as Christ.81   There are several basic symbolic or iconic references apparent in the centre of the lower cover’s cross. The first is an emphasis on Christ: there are four portraits of Christ, and the four abbreviations of his sacred name. The second symbolic pattern at work in the cruciform’s centre is the emphasis on the number four. In addition to the four portraits and names of Christ, there is a square at the centre of the cross with four white stones at each of its corners. These gems visually call attention, by virtue of their enclosure within the red enamel border which is itself bordered by a rope-like border, to the four-sided nature of the central square. The rhombus, inset into this central square, also has four sides, yet it is also aesthetically interesting as it counters the 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  80 IHS XPS refers to Iesus Christus while DNS refers to Dominus. NOS is an abbreviation of the Latin ‘noster’ that translates as ‘our.’ For an outline of the historical evolution of the nonema sacra (sacred names) of Christ from Greek to Latin, and the changes in standard abbreviations during the Middle Ages see, Edward Maunde Thompson, An Introduction to Greek and Latin Paleography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1912), 86.  81 This is a highly ambiguous, atypical gesture and it is difficult to conclude what it suggests. It is possible that an aesthetic choice has been made; the arm set in this manner creates more of a circle that falls in line with the other circles present in the design. However, the choice of the right arm may be significant. In Christianity, the right side was the good side, the side of the elect and blessed, and it was always the right hand that took part in the gesture of blessing. By placing his right arm over his chest, the portraits of Christ could be visually emphasizing his power as Saviour and Son of God. For an examination of the right-left dualism in art see James Hall, The Sinister Side: How Left-Right Symbolism Shaped Western Art (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008). Christ’s gesture in the lower Lindau cover is not in any recognized medieval gesture of blessing, but it is possible that he is frozen in the act of making the sign of cross on his chest. Another possibility is that the position of Christ’s arm is a gesture of humility. By the later Middle Ages, reaching your arm out to the side and making yourself larger was a gesture signifying power and status. By making himself more diminutive by holding his sacred right arm over his chest, Christ is perhaps alluding to his humility, despite the powerful frontal position he is in. On the significance of the outstretched arm in the Middle Ages, see G. A. Burrows, Gestures and Looks in Medieval Narrative (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), 44-45.  	   37 strict angularity of the square in the cross. At a very superficial level then, some symbolic suggestions can be made. Central to the dominance of the number four is the Christological emphasis. Four is a potent number. It could suggest the four Evangelists (highly appropriate symbolism in the context of a Gospel book cover), the totality of the cosmos, or the four cardinal directions of the universe.82 At the very centre of the cross then, there is a visual emphasis on Christ and the number four, creating a link between the two. Significantly, these associations are achieved through an ornamental design of the cover, highly detailed and resisting linearity.  The red gem, located at the centre of the composition and at the middle of the central square, is an immediate visual focal point. On a basic level, this section is visually designated as important. Moreover, this central section of the cross is the only aspect of the lower cover that contains any blank sections of gold. Both the central gem and the inscriptions of the four sacred names of Christ are located against a blank golden background, which pulls in the eye of the viewer. Even here, despite the relative absence of visual intricacy, there is a rope like border that appears to be a version of flattened filigree around the central gem and a boss at each corner of the rhombus. With regards to both layout and materiality, the central section of the cross is marked as symbolically important, and emphasizes Christ and the symbolically pregnant number four.   Moving from the centre of the cross to its arms, there is play between obviously Christian and ostensibly secular forms. Compositionally the two vertical arms (figure 9) of the cross are longer than the two horizontal arms and as such there are additional sections of imagery and 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  82 In biblical numerology, the number four is often equated with creation because it is made from three plus one, three standing in for God in the trinity, one standing in for the created man. For a detailed examination of the use of the number four in the bible see Robert Johnston, Numbers in the Bible: God’s Design in Biblical Numerology, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1990), 61-66. The number four also has cross-cultural significance as a number of totality, for example, four cardinal directions, four corners of the Earth, four seasons. Mark Hillmer, review of Genesis’ Numerology, by Meir Bar-Ilan, Catholic Biblical Quarterly 67, no. 2 (April 2005): 306-308.   	   38 details in the vertical arms. The red enamel cloisonné that borders the portraits of Christ and the central square continues on the arms of the cross. The horizontal arms (figure 10) feature a gemstone (red on the right arm, blue on the left arm) enclosed within the red cloisonné border, which then splits into two separate strands until each arm of the cross meets the edge of the frame. At the end of each strand of red cloisonné is a shimmering white stone. The triangular spaces on the horizontal arms formed by the red strips and the inner edge of the cover’s overall border each contain a creature with a large, mask-like face. The face of this creature is similar to that of Christ, but here the eyes are blank. It is the ear-like extensions from the face that give the creature an animal, or even demonic, impression. This mask-like face is located over its smaller, doubled body.83 The other two spaces formed by the red enamel and the edges of the cross arms between the portrait of Christ and the masked interlace sections features an interlaced animal pattern in champlevé enamel.84 This enamel is brightly coloured in red, blue, and gold. It is interesting and adds to the complex arrangement that the figures of Christ are enclosed/surrounded/protected by the frame while these mask-like faces and the other designs seem to be in negative spaces, more open to the edge.  While the vertical arms of the cross are very similar to the horizontal arms, they physically extend the explicitly Christological theme beyond the central section of the cruciform. The expanding cross, asymmetrical and composed of an assortment of imagery, adds aesthetic interest to the cruciform. In a golden section on either side of Christ’s head bounded by two bands of red enamel are engraved symbols of the alpha and the omega (see figure 9), the two symbols meaning Christ is the beginning and the end. Christ as the alpha and omega, a symbol 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  83 Guilman, “Enigmatic Beasts,” 7. 84 The upper section between the portrait of Christ and the mask/cat currently depicts a golden, curling, stylized interlace-type vegetal form. This however, is a later modification to the cover. It seems most probable that the original decoration of this section would have included a similar champlevé enamel interlaced animal motif. For a useful diagram of the modifications to the lower Lindau cover see Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 25. 	   39 that has been associated with Christ since the earliest days of Christin art, originates in John of Patmos’ vision in the book of Revelations where Christ says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end… who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”85 Like the engraved sacred names of Christ, the alpha and omega are located against a pure gold background, again drawing the eye of the viewer to the sections of pure materiality that contrast with the worked intricacy of the majority of the cover’s surface. Directly above the alpha and omega symbols (or below on the cross arm where Christ’s orientation is upside down when the cover is viewed upright) in a circle bounded by red enamel cloisonné, is a medallion made of silver-gilt chip carving depicting entangled creatures of the gripping beasts type, a motif associated with Scandinavian art of the early Viking era. The entangled creatures’ arms (or paws) grip at the hair, beards, and body parts of both themselves and their cohabiting counterpart.86 The three remaining sections on the vertical arms of the cross are filled with animals in coloured champlevé enamel. In the triangular section at the very end of each vertical cross arm are two intertwined beasts confronting one another while the remaining negative spaces formed by the enamel border and the edge of the cross arms are champlevé birds.87 What makes this section visually interesting is the contrast between the coloured enamel animals set into plain gold, while the gripping beasts are monotone in a different technique that is undercut, giving it a more three-dimensional feel like the interlacing beasts in the quadrants.  Even exclusively within the cruciform, we can begin to think of embedded meanings potentially coming into play. If we consider Webster’s suggestion that space in Insular art was hierarchically organized, it is the centre in the lower Lindau cover that seems to be the most 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  85 Rev. 1.8. 86 Indeed, these are the central “enigmatic beasts” discussed by Guilmain in his analysis of the lower Lindau cover. Guilmain argues that the similarities between the Lindau gripping beasts and Scandinavian motifs suggest a later date for the creation of the lower Lindau cover. Guilmain, “Enigmatic Beasts,” 5, 9-10.  87 Guilmain, “Enigmatic Beasts,” 7, 13, 15. 	   40 important space. This sense of vitality is achieved through layout; symmetrically the central square is located in the middle of the composition. In terms of surface decoration, the pure gold inside and just beside the portraits of Christ are dramatically different from the visual intricacy of the majority of the cover’s surface. The central symmetrical section of the cross is important as it contains all direct Christological references but the cross is made more visually interesting by the splayed extension of its arms which are filled with a variety of framed figures and designs. In this ornamental design, the cross functions as a clear Christian symbol yet resists being exclusively that. Rather, it is also a space for diverse design and visual intricacy. Another significant feature of the design is the basic impression of movement present in the cover. This is in part created by the intricacy of the cover’s decorated surface, but it is also achieved by the way the cover resists conforming to any rectilinear divisions of space. This is true of the basic form of the splayed cross, which gives the impression that the cross itself cannot be contained by the space of the composition. Furthermore, by orienting each arm of the cross and its decoration as radiating outwards from the central square, the viewer is encouraged to turn the cover (which would be difficult given the size of the cover with its manuscript) or to physically move around the cover so that they could see each arm of the cross right side up. This again calls to mind the notion of the divine viewer, one who would be able to see all orientations of the cover without any physical movement. Despite the fact that the cover would be affixed to the book in a set orientation, there is a sense created in the layout that the cover’s forms are resisting the permanency of this alignment, perhaps alluding that the intricate craftsmanship of the lower craft was designated primarily as a gift to God.88  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  88 This impression that the design could carry out indefinitely, even cosmologically, is also a noted attribute of Islamic art and used to give the impression of the infiniteness of God. For a basic overview see Edward H. Madden, “Some Characteristics of Islamic Art,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 33, no. 4 (Summer 1975): 423-	   41 The number four is also emphasized. Four is a cosmic number, suggesting the cosmological totality of the universe as represented by the four directions. An emphasis on the four directions is also created by the four different orientations of the cross arms and especially the portraits of Christ. One effect of the cover’s dynamism, orientation, and emphasis on the number four is to create a sense of atemporality. Christ and the cross are present, but the cover is not presenting a narrative of the crucifixion. Rather these symbolic forms are mobilized, along with the organization of space, to create an impression of Christo-cosmological totality. The specific symbols of the alpha and omega further this idea. Christ is both the beginning and the end, and encompasses all of time and space. These impressions are appropriate for a work whose visual intricacy was to please both the human viewer and the eternal divine viewer.  Still restricting analysis to the forms contained within the cross itself, we can also begin to think about how the secular forms function symbolically within the visual field of the cover. The interlaced champlevé enamel animals and the silver-gilt gripping beasts are certainly not obvious Christian symbols and they have an origin in pre-Christian Germanic arts of the migrating tribes. These animal motifs can be read within the overall visual language on a number of levels. As Webster notes, these forms can have apotropaic functions. Mask forms, present on the horizontal arms of the cross, are cross-cultural symbols of apotropaic power and protection.89 The gripping beasts suggest virility and prowess, which can also be understood as functioning in a protective manner just outside the cover’s central section. It is also possible to connect the animal forms and Christ, specifically his cosmological and total power. The orientation of each head of Christ towards the end of its respective cross arm seems to radiate the power of Christ 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  430. Interestingly, Madden notes that a similar impression was also created by certain examples of early medieval Insular art (he discusses the Book of Kells in particular). 89 Christa Sutterlin, “Universals in Apotropaic Symbolism: A Behaviorial and Comparative Approach to Some Medieval Sculpture,” Leonardo 22, no. 1 (1989): 70. 	   42 through each arm of the cross. Whether this is a creative power or animating power, it seems logical to suggest that a relationship exists between the portraits of Christ and the animal forms located within the cross. Recalling the potential of Insular Christian art to encourage a multivalency of interpretive potentials, it is possible to think of the animals providing Christ with apotropaic power and Christ as providing the animals with his own creative/protective or even dominating power.  The layout of the gripping beasts especially, and interlaced animals to a lesser degree, can also be meaningful.90 The act of deciphering and understanding how these images are arranged, where one body begins and another ends, is in itself a difficult process, and at a first glace they are virtually indecipherable. But the difficultly of unpacking these bodies is in itself significant. Like the cosmic totality of Christ suggested by the central section of the cross, the gripping beast motifs suggest that there is no beginning and no end. Like the directional totality suggested by the cross’ centre, the gripping beasts’ limbs will be locked together and intertwined for eternity, blurring the distinctions of time and space. Indeed, this indecipherability parallels the act of reading the cover. There was pleasure to be had in working through and reading complex visual forms like those of the gripping beasts whether or not they participated in any greater meaning, symbolic or otherwise. In the cross of the lower Lindau cover, symbolic and iconic associations are presented in a distinctly ornamental manner. Indeed, it is the layout and style of the cross’ discrete elements – hallmarks of the ornamental Insular style – that allow room for any interpretive potential.   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  90 Here I focus my analysis on the gripping beast medallions, as they are more difficult to decipher. The champlevé animals are quite stylized yet it is relatively easier to unpack their forms. 	   43 3.2 The Upper Lindau Cover: Jeweled Paradise 	   Unlike the lower cover where the entire visual field is full of intricacy and surface decoration, the upper cover’s immediate visual impression is the dramatic play of precious materials, a hallmark of this ornamental style. Thus instead of beginning my close visual reading of the upper cover with an examination of the central cross, it is more appropriate to look closely at the most dominant of the metalwork’s precious materials. The organizing principle at work in the lower cover – with visual emphasis placed on the central precinct – calls for it to be read from the centre out while the later cover demands a reading that moves from the border to the centre, beginning with the elaborate border.91 This is because when viewed either at close proximity or from far away, it is the precious gems that are most visible. From afar it is impossible to make out the details of the figurative elements while in a close viewing it is the border of the upper cover – a thick section of elevated, heavy looking gems – that literally jumps out at the viewer.  This frame is richly decorated and is comprised of raised gemstones and acanthus leaves made of gold leaf (figure 11).92 At work in this border is an impressive condensation of precious materials, golden leaves and mutlicoloured jewels of varying sizes, and a complex play of depth and texture. The raised gems of the border are typically arranged in clusters with smaller stones surrounding a larger central stone. This organization of the gems, a large gem orbited by smaller ones, gives the impression that the entire border is comprised of miniature cruciforms anchored by the largest stones. These are large cabochon gems that are almost individually presented, raised and isolated from the smaller gems and acanthus leaves; their size, elevation, and colour 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  91 The wright of the border elements, both in terms of width, and weightiness of the impacted gems is larger in the border than around the cross, even though there is a frame of jewels around the cross too. This is in contrast to the lower cover where the border is thinner than the cross. 92 Lasko, Ars Sacra, 57. 	   44 calls attention to the very fact of their materiality. The golden acanthus leaves that form the background of the border creep up on the sides of the large cabochon gems; these creeping leaves create the impression that the gems are pushing up and out of the border. Given the context of the Carolingian turn to late antique art, the acanthus leaves are an appropriate visual reference to a frequently used vegetal motif from the classical past. It appears that four small pearls bordered by filigree marked the corners of each of the cruciform clusters.93  This emphasis on heavy, large materials is not without associative meaning especially considering the layout of the gems. As mentioned, gems are associated generally with Heavenly Jerusalem through the foundation of twelve gemstones, the pearls, and the crystal. The largest, most elevated cabochon stones are located in the centre of each of the border’s four sides. The two cruciform clusters at the centre of the border’s longer sides most explicitly evoke the cross shape. The smaller stones that frame the central stone are very rectilinear in shape and recall the rectangular arms of Christ’s cross. The structure of the gem clusters recall the crucifixion of Christ, figuratively depicted in the centre of the cover. Pearls specifically call to mind the description of the Heavenly Jerusalem from Revelations, “and the twelve gates are twelve pearls, one to each.”94 As a material, pearls recall the vision of John of Patmos, while the number four, like in the lower cover, could bring to mind associations of the Four Evangelists or the totality of the universe. Moreover, the height of the wall of Heavenly Jerusalem are a multiple of four and twelve – one hundred and forty-four cubits, while the whole length of twelve thousand furlongs is also a multiple of four.95 The vegetal luxury of the acanthus leaves creates an impression of a land of plenty, perhaps referring to the Garden of Eden or suggesting the heavenly city would be 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  93 This is difficult to discern with any certainty as some of the stones have fallen out or have been replaced. Indeed, these associations of the number four are also true of the lower cover.  94 Rev. 21: 21 95 Rev. 21: 16. 	   45 a new paradise. There was to be a tree of life in the centre of the Heavenly Jerusalem, and this tree would bear twelve fruits, a multiple of four.96 An impression of dense materiality, recalling paradise, is created in the lush border of the upper cover. The use of elevated, large gems continues in the four negative quadrants created between the arms of the central cross. In each of these four quadrants, a gem cluster dominates the visual field (figure 12). Each of these clusters is composed of a large central jewel and eight smaller stones that form a circle around the central cabochon stone of a blue-green colour. The stones directly atop/below and beside the central stone, purple on the vertical axis and green on the horizontal axis, form a cruciform shape, echoing the central cross in the composition. Between the purple and green stones is a pearl; in total there are four pearls in each of the jewel clusters. As in the border, these pearls immediately call to mind the Heavenly Jerusalem while the number four again suggests the Evangelists or the cosmic completion of the universe. Like the cabochon stones in the border, these gem clusters are visually striking for their three-dimensionality (figure 13). The same hints of foliage creep up the sides of these gems as on the border, giving the impression that the clusters are exploding out of their background. There are two more factors that give the dramatic impression of elevation to these clusters. The first is their visual contrast to the flat, golden space in which they are located. In terms of elevation, the figures are located below the gems. Clearly visible is the textural difference between the figures and the gems; the figures appear delicate and vulnerable and are set below the gems which are heavy and hard. The sculptural bodies are set below the gems; looking closely, one can see that eight posts with animal feet raise each cluster. This served a practical purpose; when the book was opened, the cover would rest on these relatively sturdy, raised clusters. This helped to protect the more fragile repoussé as it would not touch the surface on which the book was opened at any time. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  96 This Tree of Life is a parallel to Eden, the lost paradise recreated in the eternal paradise. Rev. 22: 2.  	   46 While Jeanne-Marie Musto suggests that these animal feet were intended to have a humorous effect, it is more likely that they were meant as a visual reference to the lion, an animal with wide-ranging associations of power and status. 97 Since the lion motif had been used since antiquity, mobilizing such forms in the context of the Carolingian Renaissance would be an apt visual appropriation. The animal feet could have an apotropaic or protective function on the cover, symbolically paralleling the actual reason for raising the clusters, which was to protect the more delicate sections of the cover.  The upper Lindau cover features an ornamental style that forces consideration of precious materiality. The dimensionality of the border, where the gems literally rise out of the foliage in the background, and the quadrants, where the gem clusters are literally placed on feet, calls attention to the presentation of these material elements. The care taken to visually delineate each raised gem from its background marks them as an integral element of the cover’s composition, and hints at potential meanings and connotations.  3.3 The Lower Lindau Cover: From the Center to the Margins 	   Returning to the lower cover, it is now time to closely examine the four semi-circular quadrants of interlace between the arms of the cross. The space of Insular or Germanic art is often ordered hierarchically, and thus the quadrants appear as subservient to the central cross. At first glance, the interlacing forms in the four quadrants seem impossibly intricate, even more complex than the varied form of the cross (figure 14). A superficial reading suggests spiraling, twisting snake-like forms of varying thickness. A closer reading of the lower cover indicates that 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  97 For examples of the use of the lion motif, see Willy Hartner and Richard Ettinghausen, “The Conquering Lion, the Life Cycle of a Symbol,” Oriens 17 (Dec. 1964): 161-171; Stephen L. Tuck, “The Origins of Roman Imperial Hunting Imagery: Domitian and the Redefinition of Virtus under the Principate,” Greece & Rome 52, no. 2 (Oct. 2005): 221-245. Lions’ feet were also used in furniture decoration, especially on thrones, both real and represented. There is also a tradition since antiquity of using lion bodies as supports. For a medieval example, see the St. Andrew Reliquary (figure 2).  	   47 there is a multiplicity of animal forms intermeshed in each quadrant. These forms can be roughly divided between birds, quadrupeds, and snakes, all with ribboning bodies.98 The animal forms typically have their heads in profile with their torsos depicted from above; the snakes on the other hand are seen from above. The bodies of the animal forms are stretched into ribbons that comingle with the other animal bodies to form the interlacing movement of the quadrants. Splayed feet also appear in this network of forms.99 Despite the similarity of the quadrants, no two are the same in their creature composition. Bodies are striated in different ways; some bodies have no corrugation and their tendril-like knotting extensions are mostly pure gilt.  Located in the centre of each quadrant is a rhombus of gold. The angling of the rhombus appears to be slightly tilted, neither horizontal nor vertical in its orientation, adding to the overall sense of movement at work in the visual play of the quadrants. Sixteenth-century silver-gilt medallions depicting the Evangelists are inset into the corner of each quadrant. One of the four evangelists is located in each medallion. The basic form of each medallion is the same; the Evangelist is seated, winged and writing, with their symbol next to them (figure 15). Visually and stylistically, these medallions are very different from the remainder of the lower cover. Yet, one can just see evidence that the original quadrants were also cropped at the corners in a similar fashion as frames are visible and the medieval interlace perfectly fits around the cropped corners.   From a close visual examination of the interlace quadrants, various initial impressions can be noted. The Scandinavian and Insular traditions loved riddles and enjoyed embedding meaningful symbols and double entendres in their designs making close readings a process of enjoyable discovery while simultaneously appreciating the ornate and dexterous quality of the overall complex design. The point was not to fix a hidden symbolic meaning but to present a 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  98 CORSAIR, MS M.1, 4. In my description of the interlace quadrants I also am relying on both the curatorial description by the Pierpont Morgan staff and the analysis by Guilmain.  99 Guilmain, “Enigmatic Beasts,” 3, 5. 	   48 format that allows the viewer an opportunity to actively explore. It is a type of viewing that rewards the viewer for their pursuit while at the same time heightening the appreciation for the artist who crafted the object. With religious objects, symbols could enhance the sacred aura of the product. From this guiding framework, some of these visual riddles can be teased out, illuminating some of the interpretations a medieval viewer could make.   It is also here that it is useful to recall the ornamental aspect of interlace. By isolating the individual elements in the cover, there is a danger of forgetting that these forms are visually structured in such a way that intentionally obstructs their individuality. By beginning my analysis of the lower cover with initial impressions (that were dominated by visual complexity and a sense of movement), I meant to highlight the way that it is the ornate or embellishing aspects of the Insular style that governs any initial impression of the metalwork. While it is certainly true that viewers had the potential to pull out meanings and associations out of the complexity, the visual style of the lower cover has a decorative and beautifying function as well as a visual/linguistic one. The rhythmic diversity produced by the animal forms and ambiguity of the lower cover are decorative which is precisely why so many scholars have ignored the fact that there may be meaningful symbolism at work in this artistic style.100 	  Visual forms could carry a plethora of associated meanings; a single form could lead to both secular and Christian interpretations.101 This is certainly true of the animal forms located in the quadrants. Interlace, an integral aspect of ornamental Insular design, has visual pleasure in its intricacies yet can also lead to symbolic interpretations. The snakes and quadrupeds located in 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  100 The term secular can also refer to those visual forms and symbols that were carried forward from older pagan traditions. This goes hand in hand with the assumption that there is only symbolic meaning in the later Lindau cover that places more emphasis on the stand-alone figure and is legible in a more immediately apparent manner. Interestingly, in his history of the Carolingians, the cultural historian (as opposed to an art historian) Herbert Schutz bemoans the Carolingian move away from the Insular style towards a visual language based on Classical and Byzantine examples. This is in my opinion significant as it provides an alternative appreciation of Insular style outside of the discipline of art history. Schutz, Carolingians in Central Europe, 216-219. 101 See Webster, “Encrypted Visions,” 18-19. 	   49 the zoomorphic interlace carry a wide range of associations. The most legible animal aspect of the zoomorphic interlace is the snake form. The snake was a pragmatic choice for an interlace style; its body naturally moved in sinuous curving motions. Moreover, the specific movement of the snake made it logical to depict the snake from above, making it an easy choice of animal to insert into the spiraling, interlace form.102 In pagan, pre-Christian times, the snake was associated with the underworld and death. For example, snake pits as a cause of death were incorporated into Norse legends.103 Webster notes the forms of pagan Insular art continued to be used in the transition to Christianity and associations between snakes and death were maintained in the Christian period.104 While Germanic pagan culture associated the snake with death and the underworld, Christian imagery sometimes linked the snake with resurrection, largely because of the ability of the snake to shed its skin.105 Thus in the snake forms themselves, connotations of both death and resurrection are suggested, immediately linking these snakes to the narrative of Christ’s life presented at the centre of the cross. The union of animal forms, typically the snake, the bird, and the quadruped had been thematically linked since pre-Christian times as they represented the full range of living animals.106 Their union in an interlaced form is also significant. Interlace, inseparable from a certain type of visual pleasure, had apotropaic powers since antiquity.107  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  102 Hicks, Animals in Early Medieval Art, 34-33. 103 See for example Aoalheiour Guomundsdottir, “Gunnarr and the Snake Pit in Medieval Art and Legend,” Speculum 87, no. 4 (October 2012): 1015-1049.	  104 Indeed the most obvious Christian narrative reference to the snake is in Genesis when Lucifer, disguised as a snake, convinces Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. Gen. 3: 1-6. 105 Hicks, Animals in Early Medieval Art, 34-35, 83. 106 Hicks, Animals in Early Medieval Art, 48-49. 107	  Ernst Kitzinger, “Interlace and Icons: Form and Function in Early Insular Art,” in The Age of Migrating Ideas: Early Medieval Art in Northern Britain and Ireland, ed. R. Michael Spearman and John Higgitt (Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland and Alan Sutton Publishing, 1993), 3-4.	  	   50  The upper and left borders of the lower cover, divided into discrete boxes of imagery, feature a different type of animal imagery in sunken enamel (figure 16).108 These sections of imagery alternate between colourful stylized animals (set into boxes) and patterns of circular and rectangular cloisonné. The cloisonné enamel segments on the border include animals grouped in fours and depict birds, quadrupeds, and fishlike reptiles.109 Interestingly, these are similar animal types to those located in the interlace, yet these bodies are more reminiscent of Merovingian art than the Nordic Insular style.110 The border is marked as both similar to the central cross and different from the quadrants in three different ways. Firstly, like the central cross, the border prominently features colourful enamel. Secondly, the border works within the overall composition to divide the space (especially the quadrants) into clearly delineated portions. And finally, like the central cross, the imagery on the border is broken up into discrete divisions, each with its own forms. These similar attributes of the border and the cross are very different from the interlace in the quadrants comprised exclusively of silver-gilt and lacking any separable units. The shared use of colourful enamel and carefully organized space in the central cruciform and the (two extant) borders, suggests that both function as framing devices. Significantly it is the negative quadrants, uncontrolled and silver-gilt, that are framed by the border and the cross arms. The ornamental variety in style and organization of the animal elements on the lower cover 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  108 It is important to here note that only two of the four sides of the lower cover’s border are original to the cover. These are the two colourful enamel sides and it seems likely that there were originally four such sides. The silver-gilt and repetitive stylized borders on the right and bottom sides are later additions. It is unclear when or why these additions were made. There is visual evidence that efforts were made to resize the cover, perhaps when it was joined with the upper Lindau cover; there is an extra gilt band on the left side of the colourful enamel border. CORSAIR, MS M.1, 4. 109 These are similar animal types that are featured in the interlace quadrants. Elbern, “The ‘Earlier’ Lindau Cover,” 332; Guilman, “Enigmatic Beasts,” 11. 110 These bodies are similar to the imagery of the Gelasian Sacramentary. See for example the animal forms on the incipit pages to the second major division of the Gelasian Sacramentary, France, c. 750 illustrated in in Otto Pacht, Book Illumination in the Middle Ages (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984) 38. 	   51 forces the viewer to question why these animal forms of similar types are presented in such diverse visual formats.  3.4 From Jewels to Gold: The Cross and Figures of the Upper Lindau Cover 	   The ornamental style of the upper cover calls attention to the prominent jewels in contrast to the smooth gold, thus analysis will now move to the purely golden sections of the cover, which include the figurative elements. As in the lower cover, a distinction can be made between the central cross and the four quadrants formed between the arms of the cross. In the lower cover, colour, the visual forms, and a filigree band all function to delineate the central cross from the negative quadrants of interlace. In the later, upper cover, it is a slightly raised border of flattened filigree with regularly spaced inset gems that outlines the cruciform shape. Significantly, four white, pearl-like stones are inset into the corners of the cross that border Christ’s body. Again, pearls refer to the gates of the Heavenly Jerusalem from Revelations, while the number four is rife with symbolism, suggesting a cosmic totality, creation, and the Four Evangelists. Unlike the stylized, frontal depiction of the living or iconic Christ on the lower cover, here it is the dead Christ on the cross, immediately indicating the narrative of Christ’s crucifixion. A nimbus, inset with three blue and green gems, in the same flattened filigree as the border surrounds Christ’s head, colourfully evoking a crown. This halo is the only section of the inner cross that features a material other than gold.   The body of Christ is sculptural, and it rises out from the pure golden background. In comparison to the tactility and height of the cabochon gems in the border and quadrants, the body of Christ is relatively low relief. It is almost an effort for the viewer to get through the heavy gems to the delicate repoussé figures (see figure 12). But the viewer is rewarded for closely examining the figures, as they are both beautiful and interesting: emotional, contorted 	   52 bodies, and weeping angels. Christ is the largest of the figures, and is located on the cross. His torso, nude from the waist up, occupies the centre of the cover effectively framed by four pearls. A knotted cloth covers the lower half of his body. While his physical presence on the cross suggests that he is dead, his face is simultaneously relaxed and alert. Christ’s five wounds are visible: one on each hand, one on each foot, and one on his side, in relief but not coloured. From the wounds on his hands fall drops of blood that have been arranged to form the shape of grapes, creating a clear visual parallel between the crucifixion and the rite of the Eucharist. Blood also swirls out of the wound located just beneath Christ’s right armpit and the wounds on his feet, pooling on the stone slab on which he stands (figure 17). Interestingly, this is an equal-armed cross, meaning that the horizontal beam of the cross bifurcates the vertical beam of the cross. This is different from the typical and more common Latin cross where the horizontal beam intersects the vertical beam at a higher point. Thus in the upper Lindau cover, the body of Christ is lower than it would be on a Latin cross.111 Lowering Christ’s body creates additional space on the cross for imagery. Directly above the haloed head of Christ is the inscription “hic est rex iudeorum,” proclaiming that Christ is King of the Jews, which according to the Evangelists was put on his cross at the crucifixion.   While Christ is stoic on the cross, the same cannot be said of the other figures on the upper Lindau cover. Atop the inscription above Christ’s head are two balled figures that appear 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  111 Equal armed crosses were used frequently as a decorative motif or symbol in pagan Insular art as well as Greek art and they continued to be a popular symbol in Irish art into the later medieval era. The equal-armed cross was often used in Scandinavian, Anglo-Saxon, and Viking jewelry; for a list of some objects that use this motif see Jane F. Kershaw, Viking Identities: Scandinavian Jewellery in England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). For examples of later uses of the equal-armed cross see Peter Harbison, “The Otherness of Irish Art in the Twelfth Century,” in From Ireland Coming: Irish Art from the Early Christian to the Late Gothic and its European Context, ed. Colum Hourihane (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001), 103-120. 	   53 to be asleep. They are Sol and Luna, personifications of the sun and moon (figure 18).112 Luna appears above Sol and Sol is missing his usual rays leading scholars to conclude that their positioning refers to an eclipse of the sun, purported to have occurred at the moment Christ died.113 Their collapsed bodies suggest their grief at Christ’s passing. While it is not unusual to depict Sol and Luna with such emotion, it is unusual to extend this emotion to the other figures. In each quadrant, one figure is located above the gem cluster and one is located below. The figures in the top quadrants are angels while those in the bottom are human. These human figures have been identified as those present at the crucifixion: the Virgin Mary, John the Evangelist, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the wife of Clopas.114 They too are contorted; they wring their hands, extending them towards the dead Christ. At the same time the arc of their bodies decoratively frames the gemmed bosses.   The eight mourners on the upper Lindau cover are striking for both pose and gesture. The Virgin Mary, located atop the gem cluster in the bottom right quadrant, holds her head while John the Evangelist, located atop the gem cluster in the bottom left quadrant, wrings his hands.115 The curl of their spines exacerbates these gestures of grief; it is as if, like Sol and Luna, they are no longer able to physically support themselves because of their sorrow. The faces of the Virgin and the Evangelist are angled slightly towards Christ, as if the last muster of their remaining strength. Below, Mary Magdalene and Mary the wife of Clopas are similarly curled. Unlike the Virgin and John, their faces are turned away from the dead Christ, suggesting their reverence for 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  112 Personifications of the sun and moon have been part of crucifixion imagery since the fourth century and denote the eternal cosmic truth and significance of Christ’s passion. Gertrud Schiller, Iconography of Christian Art, trans. Janet Seligman (Greenwich: New York Graphic Society, 1971), 5, 8. 113 Musto, “Upper Cover of the Lindau Gospels,” 7. 114 Musto identifies the women as Mary Magdalene and Mary the wife of Clopas while the curatorial report at the Pierpont Morgan identifies them as two generic mourning women. See Musto, “Upper Cover of the Lindau Gospels,” 6: CORSAIR MS M.1, 3. 115 Musto, “Upper Cover of the Lindau Gospels,” 6. 	   54 his presence.116 Their arms betray their desire to be close to Christ however as each woman raises one arm towards his body as if to touch it. That the four angels in the two upper quadrants are also grieving indicates the monumentality of what has transpired at the crucifixion. Even the heavenly angels collapse with grief.   The mourning figures cannot be isolated from the gem clusters in the quadrants. Their limp, curled bodies collapse around the large clusters rising out from the surface of the cover. What is incredible is the contrast that is created between the sketchy, contorted figures and the solid, upright gems. A clear visual contrast is created between different types of precious materiality, on the one hand soft golden figures, on the other, hard colourful gems.  3.5 Reading the Lower Lindau Cover: Symbolism and Interpretation 	   Throughout the detailed visual analysis of the lower Lindau cover, interpretations based on the visual evidence are impossible to ignore. In the ornamental style of this cover, richness of potentialities both suffice as pure visual interest but also invite delving into a type of personal play or quest for associational meanings. In this section, using visual evidence, I shall enumerate on these potential meanings.  Here it is useful to briefly summarize Victor Elbern’s interpretation of the metalwork. Elbern’s contribution to the scholarship on the lower Lindau cover is an important one; he is the only scholar (writing in English) who attempts to find symbolic meaning in the cover. Elbern’s central argument is that the lower cover of the Lindau Gospels refers to The Creation, specifically the cosmological aspects of Genesis. Elbern argues that the cloisonné animal segments on the original borders (depicting birds, quadrupeds, and fishlike reptiles) include all of 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  116 Musto, “Upper Cover of the Lindau Gospels,” 7. 	   55 the basic species types created in the first book of Genesis.117 He points to the repetition of the number four in the lower cover, arguing that this emphasis engages with biblical numerology that equates numbers with certain religious significance. In this biblical numerology, the significance of the number four is taken from Genesis and is typically associated with the creation of God in the natural world.118 Christ’s nomina sacra is equally divided into four abbreviations, there are four portraits of Christ, and there originally would have been four colourful enamel borders framing the Christological emphasis at the cover’s centre. The four borders representing the totality of created life would thus frame, at the centre of the cover, the four images and names of Christ. Moreover, the border frames the cross in its entirety, an image of salvation and the source of Christ’s creative abilities. It is the creative power of Christ that enabled the animation of the world. Thus for Elbern, the cover illustrates the cosmological aspects of Genesis.119  Many of the arguments made by Elbern are both valuable and persuasive. A medieval viewer well versed in theology would almost certainly realize the congruities between Genesis and the visual forms of the lower Lindau cover. However, Elbern’s analysis is limited by his reliance on a somewhat old-fashioned application of traditional iconography. Elbern ignores the fact that complexity and ambiguity were hallmarks of Insular style, both in reading and in the active creation of symbolic meaning, by reducing the visual and interpretive complexities of the cover to a simple, straightforward illustration of a text. He fails to closely interrogate the visual, and does not suggest why the animal aspects are presented in such complex ways. Elbern privileges the animals in the borders as ‘meaning’ because they are individualized and separated. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  117 Gen. 1: 20-26 118 Hillmer, “Genesis’ Numerology,” 307. The number four has several associations with creation. There are four seasons, four directions, and it is the fourth commandment that deals with the creation of the world by God. 119 Elbern, “The ‘Earlier’ Lindau Cover,” 332; Guilmain, “Enigmatic Beasts,” 11. 	   56 His methodology fails to fully engage with the ambiguity between the quadrants and the borders on a visual level.  Keeping Elbern’s suggestions in mind, central to the production of meaning in the lower cover was the active engagement and close reading of the viewer. Being able to unpack the intricacies of visually challenging art was both a skill associated with prestige, and a source of pleasure and stimulation for those who possessed this visual literacy. The ordering of Insular space was typically hierarchical, and the organizing framework dictated what was of greatest importance in the visual field.120 In the case of the lower Lindau cover, both the organization and the material properties mark the central square as the most important precinct. The framing of the central square with a band of coloured enamel (and indeed the inclusion of a rectilinear form in a composition that predominantly rejects these strictly rectilinear forms) with pearls at the corner, and the striking red stone in a field of pure gold, marks this central precinct as visually important. The related assumption can be made that this central section would be integral to any sort of associative meaning in the cover as a whole. This central component is rife with Christological symbolism: first the four abbreviations of Christ’s name, and then the four portraits of Christ, two of which are framed by the alpha and omega, radiating outwards from the centre. Again, there is a certain atemporality, or ellipticism, created both by the inscriptions and the lack of fixed orientation of the heads of Christ. While the cruciform calls attention to the instrument of Christ’s death and the jewels on the cross allude to Christ’s resurrection, the lack of fixity in the portrait and names of Christ as well as the abundance of additional animal imagery forces the cruciform to function as more than a strict reference to the narrative of crucifixion. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  120 Webster, “Encrypted Visions,” 14. 	   57  A viewer would be afforded the possibility to reconcile the diverse visual elements pervading the lower cover. Parallels can be made between the animal motifs located on the cross and on the border and the central emphasis on an unfixed, atemporal Christ. Firstly, it is possible to think of all of these figurative forms as having apotropaic functions. The fighting gripping beasts, the mask forms, the felines, and even the animals that compose the border can be read as protecting the sacred precinct at the cross’ centre, or alternatively visually articulating a parallel between the prowess and protective power of these animals and that of Christ. Indeed, the cross itself is an apotropaic symbol. Further parallels can be drawn between the centre of the cross and the animal forms; for example, the elliptical nature of Christ, both beginning and end, neither one nor the other, is similar to the tangled bodies of the gripping beast medallions. Narrative links can be made between the cross’ visuality and the border. Elbern suggests that these parallels could refer to the creation of the natural world by the creative power of Christ (as described in Genesis). Moreover, by depicting all the animals created by God as radiating out from a similarly radial Christ, a parallel can be drawn between the totality of Christ’s power/omnipresence and the totality of the physical world. This interpretation is furthered by the presence of the Alpha and Omega, articulating that Christ is the beginning, referring to creation, and later the end with his promised second coming. The similarities between the border and the central cross in both colour and organization visually enhance this reading.  However, what is missing from Elbern’s analysis is a consideration of the importance of overall design. What is important, in the diversity of forms in the lower cover is the importance of the beauty and richness of these animal figures, interestingly contrasting animal interlace with colourful cloisonné animals that neatly fit into boxes in the borders. The variety and execution of these motifs adds richness and status to the cover. At the same time, many viewers would enjoy 	   58 working through the meanings that could be hidden there such as the references to the animals of creation. These bordered forms, with the exception of the gripping beast medallions, are very different from the interlace section of the quadrants. How does this interlace section function within the cover’s larger visual program?121 In attempting to reconcile the interlace with the larger visual program of the cover, it is useful to again recall Webster who notes that one of the primary symbolic roles of animal art was to convey origin myths or to indicate the order of the cosmos.122 Moreover, she notes that in the transition to Christianity, familiar pre-Christian forms were mobilized in order to frame new cosmological truths within a familiar visual language.123 It is possible that the inclusion of animal interlace (within a hierarchically subservient section of the cover) utilizes the traditional forms of Insular art in order to locate the relatively recently adapted Christian cosmological truths within a historical visual language. In this interpretation, the interlaced forms allow the viewer to apply their familiar visual literacy to a new set of cosmological truths or origin myths, transmitting new ideas by including them within an established visual language. Thus, these sections of silver-gilt interlace could be conceptualized as a space of pure style, or as a stylistic/visual key to interpreting the entire composition. In essence, new origin myths as framed (and supported) by the visual language of the old origin myths.124  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  121 Interlacing forms were a hallmark of Christian Insular style, used especially in Insular manuscripts. Interlace was used to create frames and embed these spaces with slightly different design – either figurative or interlace. Meyer Schapire describes in great depth how these interlacing forms work. See Meyer Schapiro, The Language of Forms: Lectures on Insular Manuscript Art (New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 2005). 122 Webster, “Encrypted Visions,” 14-15. 123 Ibid., 16-17. 124 Here it is important to emphasize the fact that this is one possible interpretation. There is a danger, like Elbern demonstrates, of privileging the animals in the border as Christian because they are individually depicted and isolated. However, as described, the enamel animals on the border are similar to Merovingian style which was a Christianized version of the Southern Gothic polychrome style. Thus the style of the animals on the border also has pre-Christian roots.   	   59  At the same time, these interlace sections – once visually teased out – are composed of similar types of animals as those framed in the border. These animals could have stand-alone symbolic associations; for example, the snake form calls to mind connections with both pagan and Christian symbolism, the dangers of the snake pit and underworld, or the promise of everlasting life attested to by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The snake, a dangerous animal, could provide apotropaic protection to the central precinct or, as a symbol of resurrection, could create a narrative continuity with the central Christological emphasis and indeed the cross as the central organizing principle of the space. The same can be said for identified quadrupeds within the interlace quadrants. In conjunction with the snakes, they could, as Elbern suggests, refer to the animals created in Genesis. In this case, a clear connection could be made between the creative power of Christ, strengthened by the repetition of the biblical number four, and the complete totality of life on Earth.  Connections could also be made structurally between the different parts of the lower Lindau cover. Given the hierarchical organization of Insular art, the sections of dense animal interlace are located in a space of less importance, subservient and supportive to the central precinct. The interlaced animal forms can be read as generally apotropaic. A relationship can also be posited in terms of movement. As discussed, the lack of fixed orientation at the centre of the composition creates a sense of dynamism and continuity that is furthered by the alpha and omega, an atemporality echoed in the gripping beast motifs. This is also true of the animal interlace. Like the abstract continuity created at the centre of the cross, the quadrants of animal interlace also suggest a circularity, as the animals weave in and out of one another. Symbolic associations can be drawn from this parallel: the animal interlace visually parallels, or illustrates, the omnipresent animating power of Christ, a profusion that hints at infinity.  	   60 It is also possible to apply Elbern’s suggestions about the lower cover’s creation narrative. The animal interlace thus could be read, like Elbern suggests, as the chaotic beginnings of creation.125 Moreover, if the chaotic interlace was visually subordinate to the central iconic and symbolic Christological program, Christ’s triumph over this chaos and his ability to control the wildest forms of life are visually articulated.126 Elbern uses the notion of hierarchical spaces, but he conceptualizes these spaces as competing iconographies. It is more apt however, to refer to competing or varied visual styles. It is the diverse visual properties, not iconographies, which best support Elbern’s conclusion. As noted, the cross and the border feature coloured enamel while the animal interlace is totally silver-gilt. Thus visual style – both in colour and layout – can suggest Christ’s triumph over chaos. Christ’s role as animator is attested to by the application of colour in the central precinct. The animal interlace on the other hand is chaotic, both in terms of its twisting complex tangle of forms and the fact that it is free of colour. The animal forms on the border, like Christ, are colourful and located in discrete segments, unlike the colourless and boundless interlaced animals. Here the possibility can be drawn that in subduing these chaotic beginnings of creation, Christ would literally and symbolically colour these colour-less sections, with colour here standing in for the animating power of God. The conclusion can be drawn that once Christ’s animating power reaches the chaotic interlaced animals, they, like the enameled animals on the border, would become colourful, spatially subdued, and discrete. These claims are only possible because of the ornamental style of the lower Lindau cover, a style that privileged mixing and visual diversity, in a strategic layout. The difference between the interlaced quadrants and the border is not content but rather form, and a viewer of the cover would be able to compare these two sections of animal art. The varied forms on the lower Lindau cover allow 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  125 Elbern, “The ‘Earlier’ Lindau Cover,” 332. 126 Hicks, Animals in Early Medieval Art, 90-91. 	   61 the viewer to explore and deepen meanings, like the myriad of interpretations that are possible through the process of exegesis. A structural suggestion can also be made regarding the five gems of the lower Lindau cover. It is possible to conceptualize these five gems – one in each of the four quadrants and one in the central square – as representing the five wounds of Christ. Though all five of these wounds are not explicitly listed in scripture, they are believed to be the right and left hands of Christ which were nailed to the cross, the right and left feet of Christ also nailed to the cross, and the side of Christ’s body that was speared by the lance of Longinus. In the Gospel of John, Doubting Thomas examines Christ’s wounds under the direction of Christ who tells him to “Put in thy finger hither and see my hands. And bring hither the hand and put it in my side,” alluding to three of his five wounds.127 A medieval viewer in the Christian context of a monastery would certainly know of Christ’s wounds. In the lower Lindau cover, the position of the gems suggests the placement of the holy wounds.128 The upper two would represent those in his hands, the lower two those in his feet, and the central stone as the lance wound in his side. The way that these stones, especially in the quadrants, appear to pierce through the surface of the cover suggests physical, yet beautiful, violence.129 The red stone at the centre is especially suggestive of a wound, and indeed in the medieval exegetical interpretation of colourful gems, red stood for the bloodshed and inevitable triumph of the Christian martyrs.130 If these gems were read as the wounds of Christ, then the entire visual field of the lower cover becomes saturated with the body 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  127 John 20:29. 128 These wounds are visible in a more narrative form on the body of Christ in the upper cover.  129 It is difficult to know what the original stones looked like since only one of the original stones is still on the cover. Paul Needham claims that the central stone along with three of the four stones in the four quadrants have been replaced since the cover’s creation. The only original amongst the isolated stones is the one in the upper right quadrant. Needham, Twelve Centuries of Bookbinding, 25. Here, like in the tradition that produced the later Lindau covers, precious materials and colours could be read exegetically.  130 This is the symbolic interpretation of red gems given by Bede in the early eighth century in his commentary on Revelations. Janes, “The World and its Past as Christian Allegory,” 108. 	   62 of Christ.131 Significantly, these visually suggested wounds are formed with precious stones, allowing them to simultaneously proclaim Christ’s triumph over death, transforming the bitter pain of death into the triumph of resurrection. This reading depicts the crucifixion of Christ alluded to by the central cross, providing further visual evidence for the creative and eternal power of Christ. Moreover, the entire composition would be imbued with the holiness of Christ. This multitude of interpretations of the lower Lindua cover is precisely the point of the ornamental Insular style. There are no ‘correct’ or ‘evident’ interpretations, rather the complicated design, juxtaposition of forms and styles encourages a viewer to engage with the visual forms. In my analysis, I have suggested some of these possibilities based upon the visual evidence of the cover. The ambiguous manner in which objects, people, and space are treated forces the viewer to work through the diverse forms and this active looking was a reward in itself. The arrangement of the forms and the intricately filled space provided the viewer with pure visual pleasure, and simultaneously used this visual play to lure the viewer into a search for associational meanings. Again, pleasure and prestige accompanied this type of active viewing. The overall interpretations made from the lower cover would depend on the personal preferences of the individual viewer. The ornamental make-up of the lower Lindau cover allows layers of interpretative meaning to be built onto its visual fabric, based upon the stimulating ornamental character of the design.   3.6 Reading the Upper Cover: The Triumph of Materiality 	   Given the significance of precious materiality in the tradition of the early church, a medieval viewer would certainly have examined the upper Lindau cover with an eye for 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  131 The devotional practice of venerating the Five Wounds of Christ became systematic in the later Middle Ages; thus it is especially likely that this interpretation of the position of the gems of the lower Lindau cover could have continued into the era during which the covers were brought together. On the medieval veneration of the Five Wounds of Christ see, David Williams, The Five Wounds of Jesus (Leominster: Gracewing, 2004), 10-18. 	   63 exquisite elements. In order to examine the ornamental cover as a cohesive whole, these contrasting material elements must be examined, beginning with the relationship between the mourning figures and the gem clusters they frame. A superficial reading of the upper cover indicates the clear contrast between gold and gems, especially evident in each of the four clusters. In these quadrants, it is the figures that effectively frame the gems. The grief and weakness of the figures is supplanted by the rigidity and strength of the gems. The figures mourn and collapse, while the materiality remains resilient, literally rising up from the cover’s surface. Like the large cabochon gems (both in the border and quadrants) that push upwards out of the ancanthus leaves, the colourful gem clusters in the quadrants literally rise out of their grieving figural frames. Immediately, an interesting contrast is created between mourning and grief in the golden figurative elements and the promise of the triumph over it proclaimed by the gems.132  Relying on the relationship between the early church and precious materials, the upper Lindau cover can be read as an evocation of the heavenly city of Jerusalem. Significantly for the upper Lindau cover, gold was considered the most spiritually rich material. It was associated with eternal life and the dual nature of Christ, both man and divinity.133 Gold provides the background and base material of the upper Lindau cover, as pure gold forms the streets of heaven.134 Repeated sets of four pearls are located throughout the cover alluding to the gates of the city while the plethora of brightly coloured gems suggests the foundation of the city walls.135 The acanthus leaves, located in the border and quadrants, imply the vegetal plenty of Eden and the heavenly city, the original paradise and the promised eternity. At an abstract level then, 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  132 These are typical elements of the Crux Gemmata; indeed, the striking contrast of emotions in this cover foreshadow what is later seen in Ottonian art when crosses contrast death and triumph on opposite sides of cross as in the Lothar Cross, produced close to the year 1000. On the Lothar Cross, see Eliza Garrison, “Otto III at Aachen,” Peregrinations 3, no. 1 (Summer 2010): 135.  133 Janes, God and Gold, 77, 79. 134 Rev. 21:18. 135 Rev. 21:19-21. 	   64 regardless of specific organization, the material fabric of the upper Lindau cover suggests visions of paradise, both the first paradise of Eden and the promised paradise of the Heavenly city.   While the gestures, bodies, and faces of the figures suggest grief, there are significant allusions to paradise in these figural forms. These details are to be found, fittingly, in the body of Christ. The grape-like clusters of blood falling from his hand wounds suggest the Eucharist, and by extension his resurrection. Christ wears a nimbus of precious golden filigree and stones. By placing what is in essence a crown on his head (and indeed by surrounding the entire cross with such a border) even the lifeless body of Christ promises resurrection in paradise in the deployment of precious materials. Moreover, the fact that all of the figures, both mourning and dead, are made of pure gold is significant. The golden material is transcendent in that it guarantees the joy and truth of Christ’s resurrection. The specific form of the cabochon gems and in the border and quadrant also provide a visual replica of Christ’s ascension. Like his journey to heaven, the gems literally rise from the surface of the cover, and in the case of the clusters, rise out of the grief of those mourning Christ’s death on earth.  What is fascinating about the Lindau cover is the way in which this vision of paradise evoked materially, contrasts with the grief of the figures. In reading the upper cover, an emotional transformation would occur in the viewer, from grief when looking at the figures to wonder and awe when focusing on the materiality. The gold, gems, and pearls allow the very materiality of the cover to symbolize the Heavenly Jerusalem, countering the tragedy of Christ’s death with the triumph of the promised eternal life. The remainder of the opulent decoration can be understood as participating in these images of triumph and paradise. The acanthus leaves, made from gold, in the border suggests the bounty of heavenly paradise. The overabundance of gems, regarding as miraculous during the Middle Ages, provides a visual parallel to the miracle 	   65 of eternal life. In the upper cover, the ornamental play of materials in contrast to the emotive grief of the figures proclaims the triumph of Christ’s resurrection and the promise of everlasting life in paradise for the good Christian. While the figural elements may depict the narrative of Christ’s Passion, the precious materiality throughout completes the Crucifixion story. Only a cohesive analysis of the ornamental cover in its entirety, closely engaging with the material elements, articulates the promise of the afterlife.                  	   66 4. Conclusion and Epilogue  	   The union of the two covers attests to certain historical shifts. The later cover – figurative, narrative, and legible – is made the front cover, while the earlier cover – intricate, complex, and abstract – becomes a back cover. From the time of the Carolingians on, religious art favoured the approach taken by the earlier cover, one emphasizing legibility in form and message. In this shift in style, the nature of the ornament itself changes as is evident in analysis of the two Lindau covers. The lower cover teems with intricate forms in its entirety; there is a border on the lower cover yet this border is consistent in colour and content to what it encloses. The upper cover, on the other hand, is made with a design that has more discrete spaces for figurative and non-figurative elements. The border becomes more similar to what we today conceptualize as a frame: separate and distinct from what it encloses. In the later cover, we can conceptualize the abstract, non-figurative ornamental elements being pushed to the margin. This position is still contested however; as close visual analysis demonstrated, the border of the upper cover pushes towards the viewer, towering above the sketchy figures below. Though visually the border of the upper cover is similar to a frame, it is still totally integrated with any interpretation of the cover.  Whoever put the two covers must have seen the connections between them like the emphasis on Christ and the cross, the repetition of the number four in each design, and the preciousness conveyed by each. And while the legibility of the upper cover made it a logical choice for a front cover in later centuries, the back cover certainly would have been appreciated for its intricacy, preciousness, and craftsmanship even if viewers no longer had the visual literacy to understand the design.136 Indeed, the aesthetic of the lower cover – open to a multitude of 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  136 Indeed the later medieval or Early Modern viewer would likely have responded to the lower Lindau cover like Giraldus Cambrensis, a twelfth-century viewer of the Book of Kells, who in describing the diversity of visual forms 	   67 interpretations – became problematic in the turn to legibility, narrative, and the figure. Instead of totally discarding the earlier Lindau cover, which would certainly still have been valued as a precious work of art, it becomes a back cover, obviously precious, yet less visible.137   The Evangelist medallions are also of note in the union of the two covers. On a basic level, these portrait medallions of the four Gospel writers point to the actual book enclosed by the two covers. It is also possible that they were added as an attempt to fix the meaning of the lower cover, to act as a summary or code for the cover. While the intricacy of the design is full of ambiguity in terms of meaning, the presence of the Evangelist medallions could allow a later viewer unfamiliar with Insular style to simply conclude that the lower cover was a Gospel cover without undertaking any close reading. In terms of meaning then, these medallions could be an attempt to add greater legibility to the complex, challenging lower cover. Stylistically, these medallions – which include both perspective and a sense of place – could be understood as an effort to make the lower cover more similar to the upper cover, including more realistic figurative design.   In joining the two covers of the Lindau Gospel, two medieval metalworks from distinct artistic traditions were physically brought together. While the subsequent historical centuries may have favoured the legibility of the upper cover, the union of the two covers allows two distinct medieval styles to be compared through close analysis. Both covers are undeniably 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  found in that Gospel book notes that “If you look at them carelessly and casually and not too closely, you may judge them to be mere daubs rather than careful compositions. You will see nothing subtle where everything is subtle. But if you take the trouble to look very closely, and penetrate with your eyes to the secrets of the artistry, you will notice such intricacies, so delicate and subtle, so close together, and well-knitted, so involved and bound together, and so fresh still in their colourings that you will not hesitate to declare that all these things must have been the result of the work, not of men, but of angels.” While Cambrensis cannot unpack all the forms visually, he still experiences wonder and awe when looking at the complex visual forms. Quoted in Bernard Meehan, The Book of Kells: An Illustrated Introduction to the Manuscript in Trinity College, Dublin (London: Thames & Hudson, 1994), 89.  137 There are other medieval examples of artworks that feature a distinctly different aesthetic on back and front. For example, the aforementioned later medieval Lothar Cross, c. 1000 has an opulently jeweled golden front while the back side features only a sketchy engraving of Christ. The two sides of the Lothar Cross allude to both Christ’s death and resurrection; the back side depicts the death, the front the resurrection.  	   68 precious and ornamental. The entire visual fabric of each cover can be conceptualized as ornament or ornamental. In each cover, this ornament has meaning, visual and otherwise. As an analytic framework, ornament provides access to the entirety of each cover without privileging certain aspects over others, allowing the visual evidence to dictate which components have the greatest impact. Studying the two Lindau covers in conjunction demonstrates how two dramatically different ornamental styles can work, and how their specific ornamental designs carry meaning for a viewer on a range of associational levels. Each cover calls for a different type of viewing, yet closely looking at the two covers points to how styles and historical tradition dictate how viewers interact with what they see when looking at art objects.    	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	   69 Figures    Fig. 1. Lindau Gospels, view of binding. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photograph by Steven Zucker, retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/8636800083/in/photostream/ Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/).                 	   70   Fig. 2. Portable Altar, Reliquary of St. Andrew. Cathedral of Trier, Treasury, Trier. Photograph © Hohe Domkirche, Trier, Domschatzkammer (Cathedral of Trier, Treasury).                   	   71   Fig. 3. Lindau Gospels, back cover. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.  	   72   Fig. 4. Lindau Gospels, front cover. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. 	   73    Fig. 5. Lindau Gospels, front cover, oblique view from right. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photograph by Steven Zucker, retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/8637913212/in/photostream/ Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/).                  	   74   Fig. 6. Emperor Justinian Mosaic, San Vitale, Ravenna, consecrated in 547. Photograph by Steven Zucker, retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/8552265835/ Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/).   	   75   Fig. 7. Empress Theodora Mosaic, San Vitale, Ravenna, consecrated in 547. Photograph by Steven Zucker, retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/8553478100/in/photostream/ Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/).                   	   76   Fig. 8. Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of central cross. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.   	   77   Fig. 9. Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of upper cross arm. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.   	   78   Fig. 10. Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of left cross arm. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.      	   79   Fig. 11. Lindau Gospels, front cover, detail of upper border. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.   	   80   Fig. 12. Lindau Gospels, front cover, detail of upper right quadrant. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.    	   81   Fig. 13. Lindau Gospels, front cover, view from side. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photograph by Steven Zucker, retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/8636811093/in/photostream/ Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/).                	   82   Fig. 14. Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of upper left interlace quadrant. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. 	   83    Fig. 15. Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of bottom left Evangelist medallion. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.     Fig. 16. Lindau Gospels, back cover, detail of upper border. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.      	   84     Fig. 17. Lindau Gospels, front cover, detail of Christ’s feet. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.    Fig. 18. Lindau Gospels, front cover, detail of Sol and Luna. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. MS M.1. Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1901. Photographic credit: The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. 	   85 Bibliography  Bloomer, Kent. The Nature of Ornament: Rhythm and Metamorphosis in Architecture. New        York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000.  Brown, Katherine Reynolds, Dafydd Kidd, and Charles T. Little, eds. From Attila to       Charlemagne: Arts of the Early Medieval Period in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New       Haven: Yale University Press and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.  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