Harbison, Peter


Harbison, Peter, “Tuotilo—St Gall’s uomo universale: reconsidering his artistic output”, in: Moran, Pádraic, and Immo Warntjes (eds), Early medieval Ireland and Europe: chronology, contacts, scholarship. A Festschrift for Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Studia Traditionis Theologiae 14, Turnhout: Brepols, 2015. 329–342.

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Citation details
“Tuotilo—St Gall’s uomo universale: reconsidering his artistic output”
Abstract (cited)
Two Carolingian ivory panels decorating the covers of the Evangelium Longum (St Gall, Stiftsbibliothek, 53) have been attributed to an all-round craftsman named Tuotilo, and are generally dated to around AD 900 because abbot Salomo is credited with having commissioned them during the mid-AD 890s. But, because the figures of Earth and Ocean carved on one of the panels are comparable to some counterparts on Crucifixion ivories from the lifetime of the Emperor Charles the Bald (AD 843-877), this paper suggests that the St Gall figures should be derived from them and from a contemporary manuscript, and ought possibly to be dated a decade or more earlier. At the same time, around AD 880, Tuotilo may also have been decorating the walls of the monastic church with frescoes containing New Testament scenes analogous to those found on Irish high crosses, both of which presumably go back to a common pattern-book source in an atelier of Charles the Bald. Tuotilo may well have been trained in the imperial workshops in the AD 870s, and could subsequently have conformed to a pan-European pattern of artists/craftsmen abandoning them upon the collapse of artistic patronage after the emperor’s death, and going to various other places including Ireland, but also possibly as far away as the court at Constantinople, where their iconography could have contributed to the illumination of the great 9th-century Byzantine manuscript of the Homilies of Gregory Nazianzen (Paris, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Gr. 510).
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Dennis Groenewegen