Carolingian verse inscriptions and images : from aesthetics to efficiency

Title: Carolingian verse inscriptions and images : from aesthetics to efficiency
Variant title:
  • Karolinské tituli a obrazy: od estetiky k účinnosti
Source document: Convivium. 2014, vol. 1, iss. 2, pp. 88-101
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
Type: Article
Summary language
License: Not specified license
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Epigraphic inscriptions are very common in early medieval art and have been studied in an abundant bibliographic production since the last quarter of the twentieth century in research on text/image interactions in medieval artistic culture. Insofar as verse inscriptions were used everywhere in Carolingian epigraphic documentation, and insofar as they coexisted with many texts in prose, why did images always use metrics? What kind of links connected iconic construction and poetic composition? To propose answers to these questions, this paper explores some different approaches to epigraphic tituli on early medieval works of art. By limiting its scope to metrical texts, it highlights some salient features of this very rich epigraphic documentation without separating the form and meaning of the text from the material. The symbiosis of these three primordial elements actually allowed the creation of a kind of "Carolingian aesthetics" and gave efficiency to the interactions between texts and images.