Lombard Legacy: Cultural Strategies and The Visual Arts in Early Medieval Italy


24 x 17 cm
644 pp. 294 illus.
Publication: November 2018
ISBN 978 1 904597 34 6


Book Description

Using the great south-Italian monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno, one of the best preserved monasteries of the earliest Middle Ages, as a case-study and heuristic paradigm, John Mitchell has engaged in a wide-ranging examination of the ways in which visual culture was developed and deployed by ambitious states and institutions in early medieval Europe.

The present volume includes studies on the cultural dynamics of Italy and its contribution to the visual complexion of Europe in the period, as well as essays on many aspects of the artistic culture of San Vincenzo, including a series of papers on the display of script in the physical fabric of the monastery and the prominent role it played in its self-image.


  • Preface
  • The Arts in Early Medieval Italy
  • Artistic Strategies and Cultural Patronage in Lombard Italy
  • Power of Patronage and Iconography of Quality
  • The Painted Decoration of San Salvatore in Brescia in Context
  • St. Johann at Müstair: The Painted Decoration in Context
  • The Wall-Paintings in Santa Maria foris Portas at Castelseprio and the Tower at Torba. Reflections and Reappraisal
  • Farfa Revisited: The Early Medieval Monastic Church
  • San Vincenzo al Volturno
  • Literacy Displayed: The Use of Inscriptions at the Monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno in the Early Ninth century
  • The Crypt Reappraised
  • Spatial Hierarchy and the Uses of Ornament in and Early Medieval Monastery
  • A Word on Ornament
  • Art of Many Colours: The Dadoes of San Vincenzo and Issues of Marbling in the Post-Roman World
  • The Early Medieval Monastery as Site of Commemoration and Place of Oblivion
  • Cult, Relics and Privileged Burial at San Vincenzo al Volturno in the Age of Charlemagne: The Discovery of the Tomb of Abbot Talaricus (817 – 8th October 823)
  • Script about the Cross: The Tombstones of San Vincenzo al Volturno
  • The Workshops of San Vincenzo al Volturno: Phases of Production and Dynamics of a Ninth-Century Monastery
  • A Carved Ivory Head from San Vincenzo al Volturno
  • An Early Medieval Enamel
  • A Set of Sword Belt Mounts
  • The San Vincenzo Community in Capua
  • Giudizio sul Mille: Rome, Montecassino, San Vincenzo al Volturno and the Beginnings of the Romanesque
  • Index

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