Medieval art is wordy; inscriptions and poems, commentaries and chronicles accompany and adorn it.
The Art of Words presents a series of detective stories by a renowned explorer of medieval philological evidence who here examines the thought and objects of the Venerable Bede and Theodulf of Orleans. What physical objects did Bede have in mind, for example, when writing about the paintings of his monastic churches?
How did he conceive of the division of biblical books into chapters?
Why was the famous Libri Carolini made for Charlemagne never published?
Indeed what did it mean in the Middle Ages to publish something?
Pursuing the story of Bede's calendar shows how Valentine's Day began with a reference to birds.
To unravel the meaning of the image of Ezra in the Codex Amiatinus the author then demonstrates the importance of knowing the books that Bede knew and wrote. The final topic is the celebrated Apse mosaic of Germigny-des-Pres, how it was saved from destruction and how Theodulf's words explain what we see.
Words matter and, in these studies Paul Meyvaert constantly delights the reader with careful excavations of that place in medieval art and thought where images and words connect and collide.