Tooling techniques in Romanesque illumination: appearance, transmission, and implications
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation offers proof that tooling was not a new phenomenon of thirteenth century Gothic illumination, as has up until now generally been believed, but was part of a well established technical tradition in twelfth century manuscript decoration. Gold surfaces are tooled with metal instruments in as many as filly-six extant manuscripts illuminated between 1125 and 1200 in French, English, and German workshops. These manuscripts show that Romanesque illuminators employed a variety of techniques to embellish gold grounds and other metallic surfaces with an assortment of ornamental patterns that range from simple dot clusters to elaborate foliate, diaper, and checkerboard designs. This is the first study to systematically examine tooling techniques and their relationship with gilding procedures in twelfth century manuscripts. This technical approach, combined with analysis of the decoration of relevant manuscripts, opens new insights about the initiation of tooling in medieval illumination, the working methods of twelfth century illuminators, and the contribution of individual artists to the conceptualization of manuscript decoration. In addition, the data collected in this study provides new evidence relevant to broader issues in Romanesque art, namely the meaning of gold grounds in manuscript decoration, the interrelationship of the arts, the artistic exchange across national boundaries, and the transmission of Byzantine features to twelfth century Western illumination. Aside from service books, manuscript examples include copies of patristic, early medieval, scholastic, and pagan texts, in which tooling was used to enhance the visual appeal of gold surfaces to a monastic audience. These manuscripts provide evidence that French and English illuminators used punches fashioned for the blind-tooling of leather bindings which has been dismissed in previous scholarship on punch marks in painting. Hildesheim illuminators borrowed punches from the local bronze casting workshop. Tooling has also proven useful in tracing the careers of individual illuminators, such as the Lambeth Master, and their movements across national borders. This study on the development of tooling in twelfth century illumination thus provides important new evidence that, it is hoped, will make a significant contribution to our general understanding of Romanesque art.
Contains two volumes. Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University PLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.