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What Does Prudentia Advise?

On the Subject of the Cluny Choir Capitals

Author(s): Peter Diemer
Reviewed work(s):
Source: Gesta, Vol. 27, No. 1/2, Current Studies on Cluny (1988), pp. 149-173
Published by: International Center of Medieval Art
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/767002 .
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What does Prudentia Advise?
On the Subject of the Cluny Choir Capitals*
PETER DIEMER Ewald M. Vetter on his sixty-fifth birthday
Zentralinstitut fuir Kunstgeschichte, Munich

Abstract miers homages dus Marie," finding thereby evidence for
the interpretation of the month of May as the month of
The eight capitals from the ambulatory of the
abbey church of Cluny are examined for their thematic Mary, at a very early date.2 Later, the capital of the Winds
content and possible program.Two capitals with female at Vezelay-and therefore, implicitly, also the one at
personifications are identified as Liberal Arts, and a Cluny (Fig. 3)-was seen as evidence for the progress of
third one, heretofore associated with sports activities, agricultural technology, allegedly illustrated in the fumiga-
as a cycle of the Seasons. A consequence of these new tion of the vine plant.3 It is worth noting that even in
interpretations is to make possible a hypothetical re- 1930, the modern sports movement could in a similar way
construction of the originally intended program,which
was rendered unintelligible in the course of execution affect the interpretation of the iconography of Cluny.4 The
through a confusion in the placement of the appropriate identification of a figure of Justice, made on the basis of a
inscriptions. The thematic content of the capitals thus bit of pure conjecture around 1870, and already convinc-
embraces the eight musical modes, the Liberal Arts,
and a group of cosmological images, as well as a foliate ingly refuted fifty years later by MAle, could still be
capital. Cosmology and the LiberalArts are common repeated in 1958. The thesis of a "marial accent" in the
themes of medieval church decoration. Evidence of a iconography of the capital, stated in 1850, was revived in
deeper or recondite level of meaning in these sculptures 1981 with no better evidence for its support.6
is not found here. Just as characteristic of the present state of the dis-
cussion is the coexistence of different identifications and
"Dat cognoscendum Prudentia quid sit agendum" proposals concerning the overall program, which remain
states the inscription of a capital from the choir of the unverified and without connection to one another-a
destroyed abbey church of Cluny (Fig. 8).1 One really situation which is reflected in recent reports on research in
cannot say that this Virtue has been absent in the efforts progress.7 It might well seem, at least to a degree, that the
made by scholars since the middle of the last century to direction taken by interpretation has followed a purely
decipher the meaning of the eight choir capitals. But her fortuitous path. On the other hand, the almost mythical
advice seems to have engendered contradictions, since it is name of Cluny seems to lead to the feeling that a singular
hard to avoid the conclusion that progress in arriving at a and particularly profound revelation of meaning is to be
convincing interpretation has been rather modest. This expected: "Il est certain que l'ensemble de ces chapiteaux
lack of progress is revealed in the long persistence of est charge de complexes significations symboliques."8
particularly problematic identifications, of certain attempts The source of confusion lies in the first instance in the
at a comprehensive reading of the entire cycle, and of irritating material state of the sculpture itself. Some figures
methods of interpretation brought to bear on the question, can be identified without any difficulty and even provide,
whose basis lies in Romantic historiography. through the accompanying inscriptions, indications con-
The reasons for this unsatisfactory state of research cerning their real significance and iconographical inter-
can easily be stated. One of them is a consequence of the connections. Others are so damaged that one cannot take
poorly coordinated manner in which the discussion has them as reliable subjects for interpretation, especially if
taken place. In the early period, the identification of the inscriptions are lacking. They offer themselves as fodder
subjects represented on the capitals was made in the for programmatic reconstructions in which difficulties can
absence of a reasonably extensive publication of reproduc- be overlooked and wishful thinking conveniently borne
tions and necessarily based to a certain extent on hap- out. Even the sequence of the capitals in their architectural
hazard association, and therefore recognizably time-bound. context itself remains uncertain.9
Thus, a fairly inconsequential reading error of 1850 led A further element of confusion was first noted by
to a crude misunderstanding of the personification of Katzenellenbogen: some of the inscriptions do not fit the
Spring, precisely identified by the accompanying inscrip- figures to which they are attached.10 The observer thus
tion (Fig. 10). One scholar read Verprimos flores primos feels compelled to resolve the difficulties, and since he is
aducit honores (instead of odores) and translated the verse impelled to recover the pictorial program of the most
"Le printemps, avec les premieres fleurs, rambne les pre- sacred area of an outstanding Benedictine abbey, no limit

GESTA XXVII/ 1 and 2 @ The International Center of Medieval Art 1988 149
carving exhibits four nude and crowned figures in the
antique manner, from whose overturned urns spill out
streams of water enlivened with fish. If different opinions
have been expressed on the meaning of this capital, this
has to do exclusively with the four accompanying plants.
Since the late nineteenth century, these have been identified
/ without a great deal of proof as an apple tree, a grape
vine, a fig tree and an olive tree,13 though Evans thought
the last-mentioned plant to be an almond tree.14 The apple
and fig trees evidently belong to the topography of Para-
dise, and the grape vine is not infrequently connected with
the Garden of Eden as well. The fourth plant, on the other
hand, could not be securely identified since it is too
generally stylized. It would be best, therefore, to have the
matter remain open, without entertaining too much hope
that an allegorical reading consistent with the grouping of
four will eventually emerge.
In the case of the capital with the four Winds (Figs.
2-5), the subject is also not in doubt, though a self-
consciously antiquarian interpretation of 1913 has led to
some confusion which has persisted until the present time:
the only fully preserved figure (Fig. 3) was identified in
this interpretation as a beekeeper in the act of extracting
the honeycomb. It seems easy today to recognize in this
FIGURE 1. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital with the Four Rivers of interpretation an unhistorically descriptive approach, un-
Paradise (photo: James Austin).
supported by any reference to the context or the pictorial
tradition. In order to account for it, one must recognize
that it was formulated at a time when the much damaged
is placed on his speculative ingenuity. In recent years, sculpture and its counterpart at Vezelay had not yet been
however, the discussion has experienced a renewal, again properly identified. Until that time, all interpretations
assumed that the capital was concerned with agricultural
on a variety of planes. The most significant contribution
on the level of method seems to me to be Stratford's short activities.5 Only ten years later did Porter publish the
correct reading.16 Unfortunately, his observations attracted
reflections in 1983 on the state of research generally, and
little attention in the din of controversy over the date of
on the iconography and significance of the capital cycle
the Cluny capitals. In 1932, Conant returned to the bee-
within the decoration of the church as a whole."
The present contribution is an attempt to resolve a keeper hypothesis, which corresponded more closely to his
own antiquarian approach,7 and even after the Second
number of open questions through an identification of a
World War, only a minority of scholarly opinion has
large part of the problematic personifications as a cycle of
the Seven Liberal Arts. Starting with two figures, which accepted the view that the capital depicts the Winds.
On closer examination, fragmentary remains in front
most clearly show attributes of the Liberal Arts-Grammar
of the lost figures can be observed. In two cases, these are
and Rhetoric-I shall address myself to the identification
of the remaining figures. In view of the ruinous state of sufficiently extensive to make it apparent that the figures
were equipped with large vessels carved in the round.
preservation of some of these figures, this will only be
Presumably, these vessels were bellows like that which is
possible with varying degrees of certainty from case to
case. Yet it will become clear that the program as a whole, manipulated by the one remaining figure. As Panofsky
determined in 1939, these bellows represent an older type,
whose outline will emerge, will show surprising consistency
documented in other depictions, which was supplanted in
and turn out not to have been without parallels.
the course of the High Middle Ages by the form in use
Rivers of Paradise- Winds- Musical Modes today. The number of men and their summary, partly
classicizing garments, in any case justifies their identifica-
If the subject of the seven figural capitals is con- tion as the Four Winds, a universal theme of cosmology
sidered, a consensus exists on the meaning of one of these, much like the Rivers of Paradise.'8
the capital with the Four Rivers of Paradise (Fig. 1).12 The The interpretation of the pair of capitals with eight
representation at Cluny of this widely diffused motif of musical Modes (Figs. 6, 7) is also beyond question. Their
Christian cosmology can indeed not be doubted, since the theme was already known to scholars in the middle of the



So I :'y
"I its




FIGURE 2. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital of the Four FIGURE 3. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital of the Four
Winds (photo: James Austin). Winds (photo: James Austin).

.. .. Flow




FIGURE 4. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital of the Four FIGURE 5. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital of the Four
Winds (photo: James Austin). Winds (photo: James Austin).



. .......

. ....
... i~i!!~i

MF FIGURE 7. Cluny, Musde du Farinier, Capital of the last four Modes.

The seventh Mode (photo: James Austin).

. KY"
FIGURE 6. Cluny, Musde du Farinier, Capital of the first four Modes. library from the middle of the twelfth century as "rationes
The second Mode (Archives photographiques des Beaux-Arts). et definitiones VIII tonorum, et duo libri de musica"?22
Unfortunately, these books are not preserved.
I shall not concern myself with the half capitals with
representations of the Fall of Man and the Sacrifice of
nineteenth century and has remained unchallenged.19 In Abraham. They differ stylistically from the rest, as has
1952, Meyer brought some light into the question of the long been recognized.23 The circumstances of their dis-
pictorial antecedents of these musicians and the accompany- covery also set them apart from the other capitals,24while
ing tituli.20 The inscriptions in all likelihood render in the material and style connect these carvings with the west
verse form the text-designed solely for mnemotechnical portal sculpture of the abbey church.25It must therefore
purposes-of a series of antiphons which would have been have been the habit of seeing them together in the same
found in a tonarius. Moreover, such a tonarius from the museum display, and the obsession with the idea of a
eleventh century, the so-called Troper of Saint-Martial of comprehensive cycle, that moved Conant to incorporate
Limoges, contains a cycle of miniatures in which each tone these alien pieces into his reconstruction of the choir
is associated with a depiction of musical performance. The sculpture. In this reconstruction, the capitals are also
illustrations in this manuscript which are comparable to thematically isolated. Their subject would be more at
the musicians of the Cluny capitals are in the main char- home in the vicinity of an altar, where they were perhaps
acterized as entertainers, as in the case of the Second employed as pendants, but more can for the moment not
Mode at Cluny.21 It is therefore a plausible assumption be said on this question.
that the texts and the pictorial types reflected in the
capitals were derived from a manuscript model, which was Prudentia- Ver-Aestas
similar in its appearance to the Troper of Limoges, but in
addition contained a collection of antiphons. Was this While the subject matter of the four capitals that have
perhaps a tonarius used in the abbey, possibly one of the already been mentioned can be identified with every assur-
manuscripts mentioned in the catalogue of the monastic ance, the questions raised by the three others are by no

means settled. At best, it can be said that in the literature virtue? In this case as well, the way in which the figure is
of the past half century, certain conventional titles for depicted decisively contradicts the statement of the titulus
them have achieved general currency. Three of the four (again not worded without errors).33 Prudentia can very
female figures depicted on one of these (Figs. 8-11) are well, like the other virtues, wear armor in the illustrations
designated by carved tituli in the form of hexameters.26 of the Psychomachia, but this is in no real sense her
1. Dat cogn(oscen)dum Prudentia q(u)id sit agendu(m). personal attribute, and outside the context of Prudentius's
2. Ver primos flores primos producit odores (pro con- poem, she is invariably unmilitary.
tracted in the usual way). Many scholars have thus looked for an iconographi-
3. vens q(u)as decoq(u)it aestas (beginning of the verse cally more appropriate identification, preferringto call the
carried out). figure Fortitudo, which fits the armor quite well.34 It seems
In the case of the fourth figure, a previously un- to me pertinent, however, to suggest a different interpre-
noticed, painted titulus was observed in 1928, and its tation: the figure is a war-like depiction of Rhetoric, one
fragmentary text read as follows: Dat nos monendu(m) of the seven Liberal Arts. In favor of this idea, I would
Prudentia q(u)id sit agendum.27 Assuming that the con- cite the neighboring figure of her sister, Grammar, which
jectural restitution can be accepted as valid, the capital in the context of the larger sculptural program, can scarcely
would be showing two personifications of Prudentia, one be imagined to have been isolated from the other Artes.35
of them depicted in the act of admonishing, the other in The classic description of the Liberal Arts, of great
the guise of a counselor. In order to find an explanation importance for the iconography of the subject, is found in
for this remarkable state of affairs, Panofsky's view has the late Antique compilation De nuptiis Philologiae et
been cited to the effect that the duplication is conceiv- Mercurii of Martianus Capella, a significant work for
able within the context of medieval classifications of medieval education and the theory of knowledge.36In this
knowledge.28 text, Rhetoric appears as the only personification of the
The figure with the painted titulus (Fig. 9) still has Liberal Arts who is helmeted and bears weapons in her
recognizable attributes: a whip and the fragmentary re- hands.37Medieval fantasy sometimes transformed her into
mains of a child at her feet, toward which she directs her a completely armored figure, as is shown in a drawing
attention. Initially, after Pougnet had tentatively proposed found in a copy of Cicero's De rhetorica38from Saint-
that the subject might be Justice-an assumption that Gall, probably from the tenth century (Fig. 22), and a leaf
later developed into a that from Salzburg from the period 1150-60 with a depiction
certainty29-Mfle recognized
these attributes characterizedthe figure as Grammar.30 But of the Liberal Arts (Fig. 24), formerly in the collection of
after the discovery of the titulus, his observation came to Robert von Hirsch and recently acquired by the Pierpont
be regarded as no longer tenable. Morgan Library.39 The outstretched right arm of the
It is regrettable that those who discovered the inscrip- Cluny figure can also perhaps be related to the "oratorical"
tion did not judge it necessary to publish a photograph of gesture frequent in twelfth-century personifications of
their find, which has since then entirely disappeared. It is Rhetoric.40
thus necessary to rely today on a drawing and on a few Within the literature, the occurrence of Grammar and
inadequate old photographs which show only a few indi- the expansive depiction of Music have several times been
vidual letters.3"For this reason, it is now hardly possible cited in support of the idea that the Liberal Arts might be
to bear out in a conclusive fashion Stratford's plausible one of the ingredients of the Cluny program. But this has
guess that the differences between the carved and the without exception been done in the form of an allusion to
painted inscriptions are merely based on inaccurate tran- the Liberal Arts in the collective sense, and no one has
scription or an error on the part of the painter.32 One actually tried to identify the seven components of such a
thing is clear, in any case: because of the gross gram- cycle one by one in the Cluny capitals.41 There is perhaps
matical error in the second word of the painted inscription, a simple reason for this: before the middle of the twelfth
serious objections must be raised against any attempt at a century, the attributes of the different Artes tend to be
straightforward reading, to say nothing of an "improved" rather disparate, and a sustained pictorial tradition does
version. Can such a phraseology, which would have been not seem to have existed prior to that time.42Conventional
unthinkable in the literate setting of the monastery, be attributes and, as in the present instance, the absence of
taken as an intended expression of meaning? In the face of identifying inscriptions, are bound to discourage closer
the questionable evidentiary value of the painted inscrip- investigation. The best example of this situation and the
tion, it is methodologically necessary to return with Strat- difficulties which result from it is a representation of the
ford to Male'sdesignation of the figure as Grammar, for Artes together with their Mother and Queen Philosophia,
both the pose and the attributes, to the best of my here designated as Sapientia, .in a collection of miscel-
knowledge, suit no other subject (Fig. 25). laneous texts preserved in Paris, from the end of the
Is it therefore made more likely that the other figure eleventh century (Fig. 23). The personifications resemble
identified as Prudentia (Fig. 8) actually represents this one another as general types and a number of them are



FIGURE 8. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital with the FIGURE 9. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital with the
Trivium, Rhetorica ("Prudentia") (photo: James Austin). Trivium. Grammatica (Archives photographiques des Beaux-


'7 .5 0




?N '?.x

FIGURE 10. Cluny, MusPe du Farinier, Capital with the FIGURE 11. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital with the
Trivium. Sapientia or Philosophia ("Ver") (Monuments His- Trivium. Dialectica ("Aestas") (photo: James Austin).
toriques, Paris).
given the same attribute, a scroll, a staff or a scepter, a Grammar, Dialectic and Rhetoric-would have been found
lamp in the form of a vase; a very similar object held by adjoining one another on one capital, and indeed-for the
Astronomia has been thought to be a water clock.43 The plausibility of the proposed reconstruction, a point not
style of drawing leads to sketchy effects and makes use of altogether without interest-readable from left to right, in
conventional formulas. The leaf is also interesting since it the sequence which through the writings of Cassiodorus
gives us a good idea of the kind of figural construction, and Isidore of Seville had gained popularity.46
unstable and active bodily stances, lively gestures and The last figure of the capital, "Ver" (Fig. 10) holds an
drapery conventions, which the sculptors of Cluny may attribute which could well be thought inappropriate for
have had before them. Spring, a book. Already in 1870, Pougnet found the idea
If we assume that a probably illiterate sculptor, with difficult to accept and thought that the object was more
hardly any knowledge of the subject that he had to deal likely to be a vanity casket of some kind.47 Others shared
with, was faced with the task of translating such fleeting his doubts,48 but the view from below definitely reveals a
and undifferentiated drawings into stone, it would not be book, the parchment leaves between the covers being
surprising if the results were marked by an even greater rendered in detail. If one is unlikely to find acceptable the
lack of clarity, and indeed, if, as a result of the process of grotesque idea that the lady, meditating in the April wind,
transmission, perhaps a long and complex one, errors and is to be understood as a Benedictine vision of Spring,49 it
absurdities were to result. In this manner, familiar in the seems more probable that we have here another personi-
history of art, puzzling images could emerge, presenting to fication from the realm of the spirit and knowledge.
posterity insoluble questions. It seems a priori unlikely that the fourth personifica-
It is thus all the more regrettable that, based on the tion could have been taken from the remaining Artes,
evidence of the tituli of Grammar and Rhetoric, the since it would only be logical to expect the Quadrivium to
independent value of the inscriptions for the identification figure on another capital. In search for the true identity of
of the Cluny figures must be rejected. To what extent the "Ver,"the already discussed verses of Prudentia may be of
tituli are in the wrong place or have been otherwise help. In spite of their unreliability, these yield a basic piece
mangled can only be gauged when the matter is more fully of information: among the figures of the capitals, there
examined in the light of other criteria. The fact that both was a Prudentia, at least assuming no further complication
"Ver" (Fig. 10) and "Aestas" (Fig. 11) appear as female like a change in the program in the course of execution.
personifications, contrary to the tradition of the iconog- The remarkable fact that the verse appears twice on the
raphy of the Seasons, causes skepticism from the beginning. capital with the Trivium, even if these are positioned in a
Setting aside such difficulties of a general order, it will most unsatisfactory way, gives an indication that can only
be useful to examine the personifications in the direct refer to the figure of "Ver." It is indeed the case that this
vicinity of Grammar and Rhetoric. In the case of the book-wielding female figure corresponds exactly to the
"Aestas"(Fig. 11), the large remaining fragment in front of Prudentia type in use since the Carolingian period. Al-
the figure passes for a depiction of a corn reaper, though it though it may be conceded that the nonspecific attribute
should be borne in mind that the very part of the titulus would be appropriate for other personifications as well,
which speaks of a sickle was itself ingeniously restored by particularly among the Artes, the identification seems to
Pougnet.44 But why was no more than half of the titulus me plausible.5o
actually carved? Was this the result of haste in the process Hearn, on iconographic grounds, had already seen in
of transfer?45More plausible, it seems to me, is the assump- the "Ver" a representation of Prudentia. This led him to
tion that it was realized in the course of work that the far-reaching conclusions, which must be briefly discussed
inscription had been put in the wrong place. But was it here, since they constitute an alternative interpretation.51
necessarily a sickle or a scythe-like object that the woman Hearn would like to see the four figures of the capital as
held? Her body must swing back far in order that a place a depiction of the Cardinal Virtues. The armed woman
may be found for her attribute. This attribute has left (Fig. 8) would be Fortitudo. In the case of "Aestas"
substantial traces on her garment as well as on the edge of (Fig. 11), the large area of damage is to be read as the
the mandorla, but it was cut free from the background. remains of the scales of Justice. The matron with the whip
On the basis of the position of the widely distributed (Fig. 9) would be Temperantia. The argument does not
remains of attachments, it is quite possible that the missing raise any difficulties in the case of Prudentia and the so-
object was a large serpent as the attribute of Dialectica, in called Fortitudo, but that is not the case for the remaining
its proportions and outline comparable to the counterpart virtues. In both instances, the evidence provided does not
in the already mentioned Artes miniature in Paris (Fig. 23). stand up to examination. The scales leave unexplained the
The large area that has been broken on the left edge of the enormous loss along the edge of the mandorla, and that
mandorla may well have belonged to the head of the Temperantia should be shown taking part in an act of
beast. punishment must not only be without parallel, but al-
Assuming that these considerations and identifications together unthinkable.52Even if, as an experiment, we were
are on the mark, the personifications of the conversely to construe the broken area in the "Aestas" as



4Z . .....

FIGURE 12. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital of the FIGURE 13. Cluny, Musde du Farinier, Capital of the
Quadrivium. One of the Arts (Arithmetica?) ("Caritas ") Quadrivium. One of the Arts (Astronomia?) ("Fides")
(photo: Marburg). (Archives photographiques des Beaux-Arts).

. Al


I ?U,

FIGURE 14. Cluny, Musde du Farinier, Capital with the

Quadrivium. One of the Arts (Geometria?)("Spes") (photo: '47
James Austin).

FIGURE 15. Cluny, Musde du Farinier, Capital with the

Quadrivium. One of the Arts (Musica?) (photo: author).

the remains of Temperantia's vessels for mixing wine with Remigius of Auxerre on Martianus Capella's work-a
water, the result would be questionable: why should only copy of which, written in the tenth century, was preserved
the two jugs have been carved a jour? A cycle of the at Cluny-could easily be confused about the termino-
Cardinal Virtues for this capital is thus out of the ques- logical distinctions. Remigius at the outset translates the
tion. The characteristic figure of Grammar cannot easily name of the heroine of the title, Philologia, the future
be interpreted out of existence, and with it, the Liberal ruler over the seven Arts, as "amor vel studium rationis"
Arts group as a whole. and continues "Philologia ergo ponitur in persona sapien-
In order to round out the Liberal Arts to a cycle of tiae et rationis."59 Later, the same author defines Philology
eight figures, the medieval iconographical tradition pre- as the image of human wisdom, "prudentiasaeculi."60
sents a logical and nearly obligatory solution: the recourse What boundaries there were between these concepts
to Philosophy or Wisdom (Figs. 23, 24). Does the "Ver"- could be even more fluid outside the theoretical classifica-
Prudentia thus stand for Philosophia? On first glance, a tion of the Arts, and especially in the domain of Scripture.
difficulty presents itself against this idea. When it is rep- As Klemm has pointed out with respect to the Aldersbach
resented as a full figure, Philosophy or Sapientia tends to manuscript, the Wisdom Books employ the concepts of
be given special emphasis by being shown in a frontalized, Sapientia and Prudentia, as well as their corresponding
seated stance. Her normal attributes, books or a scep- adjectives, without a precise distinction, in line with the
ter, are derived from the description of Philosophy in very practical definition of Wisdom which informs these
Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, whose specification texts.61 Three examples for the synonymous use of these
of the figure's clothes sometimes also found its way into concepts will suffice here: Dominus sapientia fundavit
the pictorial tradition.53 The personification at Cluny does terrain, stabilivit caelos prudentia (Proverbs 3:19); Qui
not partake of this tradition. Nothing about it apparently sapiens est corde appellabitur prudens (Proverbs 16:21);
suggests the elevated and numinous sphere of Wisdom, the Prior omnium creata est sapientia et intellectus ab aevo
all-embracing and nourishing mother of the Arts, which (Ecclesiastes 1:4).
on the mystical plane and united with Divine Wisdom, From this, it is conceivable that in the world of
was active in the creation of the world.54 Cluny, deeply affected by the habit of hearing, singing and
Yet in my view, there is a way that the figure can be reading of Scripture-where, in the words of Abbot
meaningfully incorporated into a cycle of the Liberal Arts. Hugh's predecessor Odilo, Abbot Mayolus had exercised
The consistency with which the iconography of Wisdom, his prudence in order that already on earth, his brethren
mainly determined by Boethius's view of Philosophy, dif- would gain salvation62-the difference between Wisdom
fers from depictions of the cardinal virtue Prudence, has and Prudence according to the school manuals would not
much to do with the fact that diverse strains of pictorial have been much noted. The abbey possessed a good
transmission tend to follow a linear path and therefore library, but had up to that point not had a bibliophile
exclude intrusions or alternatives from other spheres. De- abbot. It is thus wholly understandable that what was
liberate selection from different pictorial models or cre- available locally in the way of book illumination that
ative departures inspired by the patron or the artist were might have functioned as a source of inspiration or model,
hardly typical, however impressive some accomplishments was not likely to be very extensive. By no means all cycles
of this kind that are preserved might be. Be that as it may, of the Liberal Arts in book illumination include depictions
the typological constancy which we can observe in the case of Philosophia. In the manuscripts of Martianus, for
of Sapientia and Prudentia corresponded to a real need example, where illustrations may be provided for each
for a terminological clarification in the medieval debate on chapter, the subject does not figure in the text and there-
the relationship of the individual branches of knowledge fore has no pictorial place.63
and the ethical categories to one another.55 In this perspective, a tentative hypothesis can be
Even within this discussion, however, the way in formulated which would explain the vexing situation be-
which Prudentia and Sapientia were conceptually distin- fore us: there was perhaps a model for the seven Liberal
guished from one another and understood to be separate Arts, but not for the eighth personification required by the
categories is not always clear. In a representation of Phi- decorative scheme of the capitals. A figure of the cardinal
losophia found in the Aldersbach manuscript of ca. 1230- virtue Prudence was therefore used, which would without
35, the personification is labeled prudens.56A half century doubt have been more easily available than Philosophia.
earlier, Alan of Lille in his Anticlaudianus had described A striking detail is possibly explained by this recourse to a
his Prudentia following Boethius' characterization of different model: Prudentia is the only figure of the cycle
Philosophy, and called her interchangeably Prudentia, that is provided with a titulus. Did the depictions of the
Fronesis, Sapientia and Sophia.57 In a contemporaneous Arts available to the sculptors perhaps lack verse inscrip-
commentary on the Anticlaudianus, Prudentia consistently tions? It might be noted that the known Martianus illus-
and in all of her guises takes on the role of Sapientia in trations have no versified tituli.64 Was the eighth figure
the face of the other Arts.58 A reader educated in the originally, as tradition required, to be re-baptised Phi-
Schools who consulted the much used commentary of losophy by means of appropriate verses? The answer to
.......................... ....





FIGURE 16. Cluny, Mus&edu Farinier, Capital with the Sea- FIGURE 17. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital with the Sea-
sons. Summer (photo: James Austin). sons. Spring or Autumn (photo: James Austin).

'71 M





FIGURE 18. Cluny, Mus&e du Farinier, Capital of the Sea- FIGURE 19. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Capital of the Sea-
sons. Winter(photo: James Austin). sons. Autumn or Spring (photo: James Austin).

this question depends on one's appreciation of the titulus of the west facade of Sens Cathedral, executed after 1184,
of Prudentia. It is hard to decide whether its transfer to where the virtue demonstratively opens her two large
the stone was faithful to the intentions of those responsible chests in order to exhibit the contents, money and preci-
for the program, or only contributed further to the already ous vessels, to be distributed. It stands in opposition to
impressive number of mishaps which affected the execution Avaritia, who sits on her closed chest.77 At Cluny, the
of the capitals.65 contents of the small casket remain hidden, and the stiff
pose of its owner has nothing of the convincing generosity
of the Gothic Largitas. Considering the very different
"Theological Virtues"
conception, not exclusively bound up with the technique
With a careful qualification, Pougnet suggested in of contemporaneous narrative, it is an open question
1870 that the four female figures enclosed in remarkable whether any connection between these images can be said
six-sided mandorlas on our second capital (Figs. 12-15) to exist.
might represent the Theological Virtues.66 This somewhat The fourth figure of the capital is almost entirely lost
vaguely articulated supposition has had great success in (Fig. 15). It must have stood in a gently swaying pose.
the literature, especially after Conant claimed in 1930 to Along the left edge of the mandorla, the remains of an
have confirmed and further refined it.67 Yet not all the object which the figure once held can be seen. Stratford
participants in the discussion have been convinced. The interprets this object as the scales of Justice.78 But the
1950 edition of the Petite monographie devoted to Cluny remaining evidence permits little more than conjecture.
repeated an older explanation: in order to complement the All in all, the interpretation of the figures as Theo-
pairing Prudentia-Ver and Justitia-Aestas on the first logical Virtues leaves one unsatisfied. The attributes which
capital, supposedly disclosed by the tituli, the second one are offered as evidence are occasional phenomena of a
presents us with a coupling of Fortitudo-Autumnus and marginal nature within the iconography of these virtues or
Temperantia-Hiems.68 employed in an atypical way, when they are not to be
The Theological Virtues hypothesis suffers at the out- rejected altogether. The added fourth personification also
set from the handicap that an additional personification remains a problem. With its unidentifiable subject, it is the
must be supplied in order to arrive at the required number symptom of a larger incongruence between the program
of four figures. The proposals thus far made, whether they and the requirements inherent in the formal structure of
involve Justitia,69 Humilitas,7 or more remote possibilities the capital.
like Mansuetudo or Benignitas are not much more than In the face of this situation, it may be useful to
guesses. Wholly implausible was the thought that the attempt as a counter test a reading of the figures of the
figures depicted the different kinds of arts practiced in the capital as representations of the four Liberal Arts con-
Middle Ages.72 But what can be said in favor of the stituting the Quadrivium. The highest expectations in con-
identification as Theological Virtues? nection with such a trial reading should not be entertained.
"Fides" (Fig. 13), following Conant, had in her hand As in the case of the hypothesis concerning the Virtues,
a now lost, flat and not too large attribute, worked ]jour, the state of preservation of the capital and the absence of
on which she gazed attentively. Her pose gives the im- a clearly systematized distribution of attributes in the
pression that she might be glancing, as if short-sighted, at period around 1100 make it unrealistic to expect that
a book.73 A book, to be understood as Holy Scripture, is unimpeachable results can be forthcoming. Our question
one of the most common attributes of Faith. Reading, must therefore be phrased with modesty: are the figures of
however, is not one of her occupations featured in depic- the capital, such as they have come down to us, at all
tions before the late Middle Ages.74 compatible with the representation of the Quadrivium?
"Spes" (Fig. 14) holds a flowering scepter and her left "Fides" (Fig. 13) shows little in the way of helpful
hand is placed on her breast. There is in fact a unique evidence. In the event that the object which she held was
parallel for this attribute in the figure of Spes of the really a book, the attribute would be perfectly appropriate
reliquary of St. Valentinus in Brussels, a work datable for one of the Arts, as a glance at the already mentioned
around 1160. There, the personification holds a roundel miniature in Paris indicates (Fig. 23). The flowering scepter
with the cross and a green branch, which, following Bede, also occurs several times in this wofk. Queen Sapientia
who interprets an antique type,75may be a symbol of the carries one, as do Musica and Geometria. In connection
eternal fruit to be expected by the hopeful believer. with the latter, Wirth supposes an allusion to the measur-
"Caritas" (Fig. 12) holds a casket, whose lock and ing rod spoken of by Martianus Capella in the sense of
applied metal strips the sculptor has faithfully reproduced. virga geometralis.79Is "Spes" (Fig. 14) possibly Geometry?
According to Conant, the figure is to be thought as in the The casket of "Caritas" (Fig. 12), on the other hand,
act of distributing alms.76 Such an activity, however, would presents a difficulty. With the exception of the container for
represent a unique case. The earliest comparable represen- the writing implements of Grammar, depicted in some illus-
tation, also an isolated example, is the image of Largitas trations, such caskets do not count among the attributes of

on the edge of the mandorla could just as well be part of
the instrument of Musica as another attribute.
Granting that the personification with the flowering
scepter might be Geometry and the attribute of the lost
figure a musical instrument, a left to right sequence would
j~ ~ obtain, as in the case of the Trivium capital. This sequence
corresponds to Isidore of Seville's enumeration: Arithmetic
ME~ (casket as a transmogrified counting board?), Music,
Geometry, and Astronomy (the last attribute either a book
or a globe of the heavens?).
The question whether the Quadrivium might have
figured on the capital can now be cautiously answered in a
positive sense. A firm proof is evidently just as impossible
as in the case of the "Theological Virtues." The principal
basis for the identification is without doubt the fact that
the Trivium was very likely present at Cluny. In any case,
the interpretation seems internally consistent and free of
One of the implications of this reading, however, calls
for some elaboration. In accord with the prior observations
of Katzenellenbogen, Hearn and Stratford, it assumes that
all the tituli of the Trivium capital are wrongly posi-
tioned.82 But the texts themselves, one must assume, are
an integral part of the programmatic scheme of the choir
capitals. In the case of the Prudentia inscription, the
intended location could be tentatively indicated. In the
same manner, Spring and Summer, and presumably
Autumn and Winter as well, must have been a part of the
FIGURE 20. Cluny, Musee du Farinier, Corinthian Capital from the overall scheme. If one does not want to postulate a change
ambulatory of the abbey church (photo: James Austin). of program in the course of execution, there can only be
one place where a Seasons cycle could have been located.

the Arts. It is otherwise hard to find a personification for
which such an object would be appropriate.8" If our For a long time, the one remaining capital (Figs. 16-
working hypothesis remains valid, a misunderstanding of 19)-aside from the single, purely Corinthian capital
the artist in the interpretation of his model must have (Fig. 20)-has frustrated interpretation. Its poor condition
intervened. This, to be sure, is a dangerously convenient makes it understandable that it was once described in the
kind of assumption, which does not always speak in literature as a leaf capital without figures.83 It could
favor of the cause it is supposed to support. Yet it seems therefore be taken as progress when Conant in 1930
thoroughly conceivable that the sculptor had a some- discerned on the carving "sports and diversions," an idea
what indistinctly represented object as a model, which he that seems to combine within the respectably humanistic
could neither properly construe nor visualize as a three- concept of the Palaestra the Pauline notion of spiritual
dimensional object. This was possibly not a book, but a struggle for salvation, the athletic fields of American semin-
more particular attribute like the demonstration tablet of arians and the modern associations for the promotion of
Geometria, or the counting board of Arithmetic. Could fitness. The anachronistic character of this view did not
the suggestive and convincingly rendered applied orna- prevent it from being gratefully received.84But an alterna-
ments of the casket have been inspired by certain details of tive interpretation was propounded, which, though arrived
the misunderstood object, perhaps a work like the table of at intuitively, seems to me to be the right one: Terret saw
Geometria with its drawn figures in the Bamberg Boethius here "les occupations ou les travaux successifs des difft-
manuscript (Fig. 21)?8"The gesture of the left hand in the rentes parties de l'ann~e."85The mutilated torsoes and legs
painting may have had at Cluny the same direction-giving of the figures offer little to go on, and crucial sections of
sense. the carving are largely destroyed. Still, the remaining parts
The puzzling fragment near the fourth figure (Fig. 15) can be analyzed in relation to other cyclical depictions of
remains a challenge. The thin, obliquely positioned staff the Seasons.

. . . .. . . .. . . .. .


. . . . .. . . . l'iii!

.. .... .. ... .......wi~

ii ?? Ir
og' i?Ii

FIGURE 21. Bamberg, Staatl. Bibliothek, Class. 3, fol. 9v. The Artes of FIGURE 22. Leiden, University Library, Cod. Voss. lat. q. 33, fol. lv.
the Quadrivium: Musica, Arithmetica, Geometria, Astrologia (Zentral- Rhetorica with Cicero and Demosthenes (after Festschrift B. Bischoff,
institutflir Kunstgeschichte). pl. 11).

A half-capital in the nave of Vezelay shows, sur- (Fig. 28) also show a relation to Cluny.88Winter is again
rounded by vigorously worked foliage, frontal, standing depicted with a long mantle and in a frontal stance,
personifications of Summer and Winter.86Summer (Fig. 26) though his hands are differently positioned. Summer is
is naked, with arms half upraised roughly in the manner of also nude and with a raised right arm, and as at Vezelay,
an Orans figure. One may ask whether this type, known without an attribute. A small mantle is seen falling off the
through a number of examples, might possibly be con- left shoulder. The gesture of the left arm is different.
nected with a similar kind of depiction in which the figure In the case of the other personifications at Cluny, the
displays a raised sickle.87 Winter (Fig. 27), on the other effect of destruction makes the task harder. The com-
hand, wears a hooded mantle lined with fur and places parable cycles show Spring as a flower bearer89or sower
one hand over the other as if to warm itself. As a matter (Fig. 30),90 and Autumn as a vintager.91 But even with the
of fact, both representations have a counterpart among help of a reasonably consistent pictorial tradition, ulti-
the figural remnants visible on the Cluny capital: Winter mately of ancient origin, it is not easy to identify here the
(Fig. 18), dressed in an ample mantle, crosses his hands personifications of Spring and Autumn. It is notable that
and presses the clasp of his garment or a book against his Zarnecki saw himself faced with the same difficulty in the
chest. On the opposite side of the capital stands the figure case of Autun. In the lower medallion (Fig. 28), he pur-
of Aestas (Fig. 16), his nudity appropriately concealed by ported to see Spring in the figure bearing flowers or a
leafage. His right hand (with or without a sickle?) was sheaf of wheat, and to the right, Autumn with a wind-
raised, the left one covers the chest with a large leaf. blown mantle. If this is on the mark, the representations at
The personifications of the Seasons in two archivolt Autun would be far removed from the norm: Spring's
medallions of the west portal of the cathedral of Autun bouquet of flowers has become here a monstrous giant

think that we may have here the glove of a falconer.
Falcons and falcon hunting occur frequently since the
beginning of the twelfth century-an example is found in
the Albani Psalter-in connection with the month of May,
sometimes April, and occasionally October.94But since the
sower does not extensively personify Spring, but is also
encountered as an illustration for October (Fig. 29),95 it
remains in the final analysis uncertain which of the ruined
personifications stands for Spring and which for Autumn.
An error in the process of copying can also not be ruled
out: the singular glove may be a misconstruction of a
ne4loe wur y; bunch of grapes or perhaps a basket of fruit in the hand of
the figure.
The comparisons that have been made are neither
more nor less helpful than could be expected. It is apparent
ot" kH
that the fragmentary figures at Cluny have in their basic
configuration and garment types close or more distant
4 4 4 relationships with representations of the Seasons, in Bur-
gundy, among other places. This authorizes the conclusion
that a cycle of the Seasons was depicted here. Since the
personification of Summer and Winter, the only reliably
identifiable ones, do not stand next to one another, but
rather on opposite faces, the criterion for a reading of the
figures in a proper sequence is fully met.

Thus, the tituli of "Ver" and "Aestas" may be dis-
counted as obstacles to the interpretation of the capital
devoted to the Trivium, having acquired at the same time
FIGURE 23. Paris, Bib. Nat. MS. lat. 3110, fol. 60. Sapientia and the their logical place. At this point, some additional con-
Liberal Arts (after Ornamenta Ecclesiae, A 9). siderations on the subject of the tituli may be adduced.
Looked at in a general way, the capitals of the Cluny
chevet divide between those that were clearly designed to
husk, Autumn's work in the vineyard is wholly unrecog- receive inscriptions (this factor may well have played a
nizable, and the gesture of Spring, whose left hand cups role in the determination of the characteristic form of the
the cheek as if to express concern, is in any case un- mandorlas as large as the much discussed motives which
intelligible. may have led the sculptors to place the figures within this
Taking note of Autun's lack of clarity is justified here, particular kind of spatial setting), and those for which no
because the stance of the figure at Cluny, falling to his such space was foreseen. The sculptors planned inscrip-
knees and at the same time turning the upper body, seems tions for the Liberal Arts and the capitals with the musical
to be echoed there (Fig. 19). What activity is here depicted? modes, but not for the cosmological themes of the Rivers
The lively movement of the figure suggests a sower, compar- of Paradise, the Winds and the Seasons. This must have
able to the personification of Spring on the Seasons bowl been the result of instructions received from the patrons,
at Bonn (Fig. 30), where the pose is generally stiffer, but for otherwise it would be impossible to understand why
the left arm is similarly bent.92If Zarnecki's interpretation the capitals that are the more complex or difficult to
of the counterpart at Autun is correct, one would have to elucidate should be accompanied by explanations.
assume that the personage is Autumn, likely in the act of That this distinction should have been lost sight of in
reaching up toward a bunch of grapes. The fourth figure the abbey in the course of the execution of the capitals is
at Cluny (Fig. 17) does not make the identification any shown by the fact that someone provided hexameter verses
easier. The most striking detail in the rendering of the for Spring and Summer. The sculptors entrusted with the
man, bent forward and standing on lightly bent legs, is a task of carving the inscriptions presumably could compre-
furry mitten on his left hand. If it is not a protection hend neither the text nor the images, or at least not the
against the cold,93 what is the purpose of this accessory, texts. Whether the division of the labor, for which the lack
for which I can cite no comparisons? It is tempting to of uniformity in the epigraphical character of the "Ver"

[ ..
,:~iii ? iiK
.. ...
i,!i~~iii~III!!Iii! I-A


;7i77i~ii '


no1 (IcIIItrn,4
IiITOag! o,("q3-v-





FIGURE 24. New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, M. 982, recto, FIGURE 25. Paris, Bibl. Sainte-Genevi've, Ms. 1041, foL. iv. The Artes
Sapientia and the Liberal Arts (photo: The Pierpont Morgan Library). of the Trivium: Grammatica, Dialectica, Rhetorica (after Ornamenta
Ecclesiae, A 10).

inscription argues, enables us to infer that the execution of other hand, a remarkablysimilar text is found in a twelfth-
the work took place under great pressure of time and century manuscript from Angers:
reflects the structure of the workshops, had best remain an
open question.96 Since in the case of the eight musical Ver lapsat (= laxat) quod stringit hyens, quod dequoqit
modes, so far as we can judge, the tituli and the personifi- estas
cations are correctly combined, the erroneous placement Colligit autumnus, automno cedit egestas.97
of the inscriptions of the Trivium capital is without doubt
the result of inattention or accident. As is shown by the Both final words of the first hexameter are identical,
Quadrivium capital, the carving of the verses was not though the form of the preceding relative pronoun differs.
carried out to completion. It has already been noted that Is the accepted construction of the Cluny titulus perhaps
this situation may well have been due to the fact that no erroneous, and does it refer to Autumn rather than Sum-
suitable cycle of verses was available. mer? Speculating about the wording of the first words now
This leads one to consider the question whether the lost, one might transpose the two variants and obtain this
tituli were borrowed or newly created. In the case of the reading: Colligit autumnus fervens quod decoquit aestas.
eight Modes, the weight of probability favors the second But such a reconstruction is highly improbable, not so
assumption, for where could one find a metrical redaction much because it would charge the sculptor with one more
of the antiphons? In the case of the Summer titulus, on the mistake in the carving of the inscription, but because it



AN 1

K Ask *k.

F it


as ,

FIGURE 26. Vizelay, abbey church, nave capital, Summer (photo: James FIGURE 27. VHzelay,abbey church, nave capital, Winter(photo: James
Austin). Austin).

forms no versus leoninus, contrary to the other tituli of alteration of the surfaces are thus unlikely to be dis-
the ambulatory capitals. Could we be dealing with a covered, just as the painted titulus has itself disappeared
variant redaction of a common model? These questions since the cast taken in 1929. The subject raises more
have yet to be settled, and indeed, a philological investiga- questions than it answers.
tion of the tituli still remains to be undertaken. For the
issue at hand, such a study might well be decisive. The
Program: State of the Discussion
vague indications of the context tend to suggest that there
were difficulties in the composition or in the collection of The problem of erroneous or fantastic interpretations
the texts, and point to a certain inattentiveness in the for the individual capitals and the issue of a comprehen-
process of execution. sive program as well as their allegorical content are closely
The possibility that the error in the Trivium capital intertwined. The history of interpretation of the Cluny
was noted can be cautiously inferred on the basis of the capitals in the first three decades of the twentieth century
interruption of the verses of "Aestas" and the doubling of resembles the general evolution of research. Earlier, there
the verses of "Prudentia." Did the sculptors hope to was a tendency, when an image did not correspond to an
correct these errors by patching up the inscriptions with identifiable pictorial type, to improvise on the basis of
plaster and overpainting the appropriate texts in these association or reference to a given literary passage. Eccen-
spaces? Regrettably, it is no longer possible to gain an tric theses were not always avoided when a certain thematic
accurate picture of the original handling of the surfaces. or antiquarian detail seemed to speak in their favor. On
They must have been cleaned on a number of occasions in the other hand, roughly since the beginning of this century,
modern times, notably in connection with the execution of it has become more customary to look for correspondences
several casts,98 but presumably also after their recovery in the preserved, ever better documented pictorial material
from the ruins of the church. Many traces of a possible and to measure the intentions of the builders, as well as


....... .



TI, ............

FIGURE 29. Berlin, Staatsbib. Ms. theol. lat. fol. 192 Fragm. Cycle of
the Months and other personifications (after Beer, Die Rose der
FIGURE 28. Autun, Saint-Lazare, archivolt of the west portal, Seasons Kathedrale von Lausanne).
(photo: Marburg).

more subtle shades of meaning can in particular cases do

justice to the original intention of the builders.
the originality of their work, in relation to this fund of Let us look at Cluny. The review of previous scholar-
received images. This approach comes much closer to the ship reveals certain sources of error, which have inevitably
process of medieval pictorial creation, which normally led to complicated allegorical readings of the capital cycle.
involved the use of models. Until Meyer succeeded in determining that the tituli of the
The iconographical tradition makes us conscious of eight Modes were versified compositions based on anti-
the boundaries of possible interpretation beyond a given phons designed for mnemotechnical use, thus pinpointing
representation. The relevance of free association is thereby a definite functional context from which the texts origi-
decisively limited. To be sure, this does not mean that the nated, these had the effect of leading scholars to look for a
accepted allegorical connotations of the time were not hermetic symbolism and to assume that they harbored
present in these images, together with the literal sense. It profound and far-reaching implications for a comprehen-
goes without saying, for example, that the pictorial sive program. Male presumed to find in them the key to
formulas of the Rivers of Paradise, the Winds and the the meaning of the entire cycle, and Schrade saw in the
Seasons evoked in the observer, schooled in exegetical Modes and their accompanying texts the expression of an
methods, an entire cosmological system. Around 1100, the arcane symbolism.100Since Meyer's research, the scope for
superiority of the allegorical interpretation of Scripture fantasy has been sharply curtailed. How do the words and
over the literal sense, which has set the tone for the the images relate to their model, which can only be
elucidation of the meaning of sacred art, was still un- reconstructed in its general outline? Can we get beyond
questioned.99 It must be asked, however, if and to what the fact that the antiphon texts, even in their poetic
degree the unending quest of modern interpreters for ever version, still retain a certain measure of didactic authority


Q.VOs-*-l&-. tART7 FKIM-PE

FIGURE 30. Bonn, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, "Hansa" Bowl, the RE ERI-SIIVL HACIPVVNTVIl
Yearand the Seasons (after Ornamenta Ecclesiae, A 7).

FIGURE 31. Formerly Lyon, Saint-Irenee, remains of a mosaic pave-

ment (after BNgule,Incrustations d6coratives).
and see this as a kind of quintessence of the meaning of
the cycle? The question has apparently not yet been fully
It was likewise unavoidable that the confusion over
the tituli of the Seasons and Prudentia would lead to a order. One scholar, in order to be able to include in the
complicated effort to sort out the personifications drawn program not only the Theological, but also the Cardinal
from different realms of meaning. Pougnet had already Virtues, committed a real piafraus by giving the Rivers of
drawn the conclusion that each of the Seasons was com- Paradise a second designation as Cardinal Virtues. The
bined with one of the Cardinal Virtues, and he recon- conflation was said to be a "commonplace,",104 as if typo-
structed such a sequence of pairings, though he knew well logical connections were meant to signify that the concepts
that these did not correspond to any known medieval in question were interchangeable. Following this theory,
scheme.102 Finally, as I see it, Prudentia played a kind of Prudentia would have been represented in the cycle no less
double role in the confusion. The Cardinal Virtue Prudence than three times: as a figure of warning, as a counselor, and
took the place of the ruler of the Liberal Arts. As a result, in the guise of a River of Paradise. Another student,
it came to be thought that Virtues, whether Theological or starting from the obsolete beekeeping interpretation of the
Cardinal Virtues or both groups together, were represented capital with the Four Winds,105 elaborated the follow-
on the capitals, and this thought more or less hardened ing chain of reasoning: from bees to Paschal Candle to
into a firm conviction. But this assumption is not at all Exultet Rolls, where the praise of bees is in reference to
compelling, and the fact that in the actual choir ambula- their activity connected with Mary's virginal conception of
tory, fragments of a Psychomachia-a theme incorporat- the Christ Child. Conclusion: "the beekeeping scenes of
ing Virtues-were discovered tends to argue against their the Cluny capitals were probably intended to represent the
presence on the capitals.103 Virgin.'106 But setting aside the fact that Exultet Rolls are
Compared to these misadventures, a few wrong steps products of a typically souLhItalian liturgical practice and
in failing to distinguish between the meaning of an image unknown in Burgundy, how could a capital where not a
and its possible allegorical connotations are of a banal single bee is visible be understood as the bearer of a

sideration for the historical distance involved, seeks to
IN enter into medieval patterns of thought, and to warn
about the launching of facile hypotheses about the pro-
gram.'14 Even someone who may not be wholly persuaded
IN by Vergnolle's own counter-explanation, which takes Neo-
platonic symbolism as the heart of the entire cycle, would
be inclined to regard this recommendation for methodo-
;xw logical restraint as justified and even necessary. But
whether one should go as far as to doubt that there was a
clearly worked out program altogether is an entirely
different matter.'15

Artes and Cosmology

In this respect as well, the identification of the figuresof
FIGURE 32. Ivrea, Seminario vescovile, Mosaic fragment from the the Artes promises some progress, since it enables us to gain
cathedral, Philosophia and the Liberal Arts (after CA (Champagne), a sense of the range of significance that the theme was un-
CXXXV, 1977, 89).
derstood to embody by contemporaries. At the same time,
we may dismiss as unprofitable all speculation about an
unconventional choice and arrangementof personifications.
mariological message of this sort? Were one inclined to What remain are three coherent groups of personifications
wish that such a message might be found there, would not that are respectively attached to a salvation-oriented cos-
an Annunciation have been more appropriate? mology, to the realm of intellectual culture, and to liturgical
Whether a comprehensive program can be discerned music. Thematic innovations are not to be found in this
in the Cluny capitals is a question that is not decisively complex of images, which were presumably derived from
answered in the literature. Many authors seem to take this models found in book illumination, as could be shown in
as a self-evident premise for their iconographical dis- the case of the musical Modes.
cussion, a presumption necessarily conditioned by concerns The bringing together of Liberal Arts with cosmo-
of their own time.'o7 Terret believed the architectural logical subjects at Cluny is not a unique case but, on the
sculpture of the major Burgundian churches to be veritable contrary, follows established iconographical usage. There
compendia of Christian doctrine.'08Mle saw in Cluny the are other examples in Romanesque mosaic pavements.
structure of the world articulated by music.'09 Conant, The particularly complex ensemble of the choir of Saint-
inspired by Br6hier, wanted to see in the capitals an Remi in Reims, probably datable in the second quarter of
idealized self-portrait of the abbey and of its spiritual the twelfth century and destroyed in 1794, showed among
riches, and thought that he had actually found a textual other subjects the seven Liberal Arts with Sapientia and a
basis for this idea in a flattering letter from Peter Damian number of cosmological personifications, the Rivers of
to Abbot Hugh of Cluny. However, this text revealed Paradise and the Seasons."6 Also known to us on a
itself on closer inspection to be of such a conventional second-hand basis is a somewhat similar mosaic in Sainte-
nature that this hypothesis had to be abandoned."o Heitz Irenee at Lyon, of which some remains could still be seen
interpreted the cycle as an illustration of the monastic around 1900 (Fig. 31): fragments of a cycle of the Artes,
ideal defined in Abbot Odo's Occupationes."' Following the Cardinal Virtues and the Signs of the Zodiac."7 A
him, Hearn argued that the main theme was concerned fragmentary mosaic pavement of the early twelfth century
with the monastic vocation.12 Both authors assume that that is said to have come from the cathedral of Ivrea,
the observer took the capitals as the basis for a wide- shows Philosophia and four Liberal Arts (Fig. 32)."' That
ranging process of free association in the style of biblical the custom of using the Arts as a motif of monumental
exegesis of the early and high Middle Ages. Evans pro- decoration already existed before the twelfth century is
posed a more formal explanatory model with, as the shown by Carolingian sources, and in particular, by a set
structuring element of the program, an anthology of con- of tituli, one of them associated with Theodulph of
cepts founded on Quaternity symbolism, inspired by a Orleans.119
rather unoriginal list given by Radulphus Glaber.113 Cluny possessed no school of any distinction. Under
In the face of the results of earlier research, Crozet Abbot Hugh, no more than six pueri had been entrusted
and Vergnolle considered it appropriate to speak out to the abbey, and the main emphasis of their education
against the dangers which are bound to arise when the was in no way in the area of intellectual formation.120
twentieth-century mind confidently and without much con- Although it possessed a rich library, Cluny was not, on the

whole, a center of learning and culture.121 One must an indication of the more modest place of the choir
assume that the Liberal Arts were not chosen as a theme capitals in the larger scheme of things. Evidently, the
of decoration, as they were in the Manicanterie of Lyon builders chose not to concern themselves too closely with
Cathedral, mainly in order to give a concrete accent to the the details. Presumably, they thought in grander terms
abbey's spiritual self-portrait.122 Rather, it seems more than posterity has been willing to allow,126 and they were
likely that the builders found it convenient as well as thoroughly familiar with the models in the sphere of book
fitting to adopt a theme with a traditional character and illumination on which they drew. It would surely be
stately associations. The cycle of the eight Modes, on the unreasonable to expect that these capitals, just because
contrary, was not a part of the conventional decorative they happened to have been preserved, should furnish us
repertoire, and seems to have no parallels in church with crucial statements on monastic life; and it is equally
decoration. Yet its theme is perfectly congruent with unreasonable to project such messages onto them.
cosmology and the Liberal Arts, since music is found
among the Artes and medieval musical theory has a
cosmological dimension. We are apt to find it meaningful NOTES
and appropriately chosen, since it transposes into pictorial * I am very grateful to Walter Cahn, who made the English transla-
language the important role that liturgical chant played in tion of this essay.
the opus dei in the choir of Cluny.
1. As guides to the vast literature on Cluny should be mentioned at
Thus, the old and well-traveled themes of church least the following: N. Hunt, Cluny under Saint Hugh 1049-1109
decoration earlier found on pavements and textile hang- (London, 1967, and Notre-Dame, Ind., 1968); H. Richter, ed.,
ings were taken over into the newer medium of capital Cluny. Beitriige und Wirkung der cluniazensischen Reform. Wege
sculpture,123 enriched by one extraordinarily significant der Forschung, 241 (Darmstadt, 1975); Conant, Cluny (reproduction
theme. There are some indications that the principle of of the Prudentia capital cited in my title, fig. 133); see also in
connection with Conant's book the review of F. Salet, Bmon,
selection and the arrangement of the themes tend to be CXXVII (1969), 183-86.
encyclopedic, though in the flexible ways of the mosaic 2. L. de Glanville, CA (Cluny), XVII (1850), 124.
pavements, and without the possibility or the ambition to
coordinate all aspects of this imagery by diagrammatic or 3. J. Banchereau, "Travaux d'apiculture sur un chapiteau de V6zelay,"
Bmon, LXXVII (1913), 403-11.
other compositional means that would have been available
on the two-dimensional surface. 4. Conant, Speculum, V, 285, and idem, VII, 30-31. More reserved
are the remarks of the same author in Cluny, 88.
It is possible that this renunciation on the part of
those responsible for the program did not weigh very 5. Abb6 Pougnet, "Theorie et symbolisme des tons de la musique
gr6gorienne," Annales archdologiques, XXVI (1869), 380-87, and
heavily on them. The fairly moderate pride which they XXVII (1870-72), 32-50, 151-75, 287-338, specifically the last
invested in their conception is shown by some aspects of section, 337; E. Mle, L'art religieux du XIIe siecle en France
the evidence. Their failure to supervise the workshop (Paris, 1922;3rd ed., 1928), 320; Paris, Mus6e du Louvre. Sculptures
romanes des musdes de France (Paris, 1958), P. Pradel, fig. 17b.
adequately, which alone can explain the chaotic situation
with respect to the inscriptions, is one of these. That one 6. M. F. Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture. The Revival of Monumental
of the eight capitals is a purely Corinthian type, and thus Sculpture in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (Oxford, 1981),
wholly devoid of thematic content, points in the same
direction. It seems that there was no desire to incorporate 7. R. Crozet, "A propos de Cluny," CCM, XIII (1970), 149-58, esp.
all of the elements into a comprehensive scheme, nor any 156-57; Vergnolle, Ra, 95-101, esp. 99-101.
interest in numerological speculation.124 In the case of the 8. Virey, 42.
tituli for the musical modes, it may well be that compared 9. See the reconstruction efforts by Conant, found in his essay of 1930,
to the models, the content is less marked in its specificity, Speculum, V, fig. 1, and the same author's "The Third Church at
and the cyclical coherence of the message that was to be Cluny," Medieval Studies in Memory of A. Kingsley Porter, ed.
W. Koehler (Cambridge, Mass., 1939), II, 327-57, fig. 12; Vetter/
imparted thereby lessened. The remaining tituli do little Diemer, fig. 46.
more than name and summarily characterizetheir subjects.
10. A. Katzenellenbogen, Allegories of the Virtues and Vices in Medi-
This should not come as a surprise to anyone. As eval Art, Studies of the Warburg Institute, 10 (London, 1939),
Stratford rightly stressed, the choir capitals, assuming one 53-54, n. 1. Following him are Evans, Cluniac Art, 114 (though
could see them clearly and read the inscriptions in the first with other reasons); Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture, 111-12;
place, did not constitute the dominant pictorial medium of N. Stratford, "Romanesque Sculpture in Burgundy. Reflections on
its Geography, on Patronage, on the Status of Sculpture and on the
communication of the choir.125 Compared to the giant
Working Methods of Sculptors," Artistes, artisans et production
fresco of the apse and measured in relation to the concep-
artistique au Moyen Age (Rennes, 1983), II, 1349-50.
tion of the monument as a whole, they featured themes of
11. Stratford, "Romanesque Sculpture in Burgundy." Neil Stratford
a secondary order of importance. The very fact that an was kind enough to discuss with me in 1987 the substance of the
undeniably profane dancer was included in the cycle as a present article, and to make available to me photographs as well as
representation of the second Gregorian Mode (Fig. 6) is the manuscript of one of his own lectures, given in 1975, whose

publication would still be of value today for the clarification of the 27. Conant, Speculum, V, 283-84.
problem which concerns us. This lecture anticipated certain points 28. Idem, 284-85.
here presented, for example the identification of the Seasons. The
29. Pougnet, "Theorie et symbolisme," 337; Pouzet, "Notes," 13; Pradel,
methodological basis of both papers is also similar. The most
significant difference between them lies in the appreciation of the Sculptures romanes.
program of the Cluny capitals and the relative degree of coherence 30. Male, Art religieux, 20. On the type beyond the literature of the
which it displays. On the basis of the still recognizable and compre- artes cited below, see F. Rademacher,"Eine romanische Kleinbronze
hensive groups of themes (Tones, Winds, Seasons) that are extant, der 'Grammatik'. Ein Beitrag zur Darstellung der Sieben Freien
my working hypothesis presumes a corresponding completeness in Ktinste im Mittelalter," Bonner Jahrbiicher, CLIX (1959), 260-71.
the other figurative groups. Stratford, on the contrary, assumes that
31. Drawings: Conant, Speculum, V, 284; Lloyd, 374; Conant, Cluny,
such a degree of systematic coherence in the program never existed,
and points to the capital with only Summer and Winter at V6zelay fig. 171. Photographs: V. Terret, La sculpture bourguignonne aux
XIIe et XIIIe siecles. Cluny (Autun and Paris, 1914), pl. LIV;
as an example of this lack of programmatic consistency. Who
Porter, Pilgrimage Roads, I, pl. 6; Archives Photographiques des
among us comes closer to the truth only Abbot Hugh could say.
Beaux-Arts, No. 72736, and Marburg Photo 35721. I must thank
12. First formulated by A. N. Didron, Annales arch ologiques, XVII Neil Stratford for help also on this question.
(1857), 104-5. 32. Suggested by Stratford, "Romanesque Sculpture in Burgundy,"
13. Pougnet, "Theorie et symbolisme," 336; Pouzet, "Notes sur les 1357, and more explicitly stated by him in his presentation at the
chapiteaux de l'abbaye de Cluny," Rac, XLII (1912), 1-17 and Kalamazoo Conference on May 8, 1986.
104-8; Virey, Cluny, 41.
33. The remarkable contraction in the second word is best explained as
14. Evans, Cluniac Art, 112; Conant, Cluny, 89; Rupprecht/Hirmer, an erroneous "jump"by the artisan from the first to the second N. It
106, No. 141-42; Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture, 109. does not seem possible to establish criteria for a relative chronology
15. Banchereau, "Travaux d'apiculture." of both versions of these tituli (see below, n. 65).

16. A. Kingsley Porter, Romanesque Sculpture of the Pilgrimage Roads 34. Katzenellenbogen,Allegories; Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture, 111-12;
(Boston, 1923), 79. Stratford, "Romanesque Sculpture in Burgundy," 1357. Besides
Fortitudo, the possibility that we might be dealing with a second
17. Conant, Speculum, VII, 29-30.
representation of Justice is suggested by R. Oursel, Bourgogne
18. E. Panofsky, Studies in Iconology. Humanistic Themes in the Art romane (La Pierre-qui-Vire, 1968), 137.
of the Renaissance (New York, 1939), 46, n. 43. T. Raff, "Die 35. K.-A. Wirth, "Von mittelalterlichen Bildern und Lehrfiguren im
Ikonographie der mittelalterlichenWindpersonifikationen,"Aachener Dienste der Schule und des Unterrichts," Studien zum stidtischen
Kunstbldtter, XLVIII (1978-79), 71-218, esp. 161-63. Bildungswesen des spiten Mittelalters und der friihen Neuzeit, ed.
19. First established by M. Canat, Bmon, XVIII (1851), 163-67. Didron, R. M611er, H. Patze and K. Stackmann (Gottingen, 1983), 262,
Annales arch ologiques, XVII (1857), 104-5; Pougnet, "Theorie et points to the special position that can be ascribed to Grammar
symbolisme." Pouzet, "Notes," 2-9; Male, Art religieux, 321; W. M. among the Liberal Arts. The encyclopedic and monumental context
Whitehill, "Gregorian Capitals from Cluny," Speculum, II (1927), here points to a derivation from a cyclical source.
385-95; L. Schrade, "Die Darstellungen der T6ne an der Kapitellen 36. Martianus Capella, De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, ed. A. Dick
der Abteikirche zu Cluni. Ein Beitrag zum Symbolismus in mit-
(Leipzig, 1925). Only a few titles in the large bibliography on the
telalterlicher Kunst," Deutsche Vierteljahrschriftftir Literaturwis- Liberal Arts can be mentioned here: Wirth, "Von mittelalterlichen
senschaft und Geistesgeschichte, VII (1929), 229-66. Bildern," offers a wealth of pertinent citations. M.-T. d'Alverny, "La
20. K. Meyer, "The Eight Gregorian Modes on the Cluny Capitals," sagesse et ses sept filles. Recherches sur les allegories de la phi-
AB, XXXIV (1952), 75-94. Since then, Vetter/Diemer. losophie et des arts liberaux du XIe au XIIe siecle," Milanges
didids ai la memoire de Felix Grat (Paris, 1946), I, 247-78; L. H.
21. Paris, B.N., MS. lat. 1118.
Heydenreich, "Dialektik," RDK, III (1954), 1387-1400. A. Katzen-
22. Meyer, "Gregorian Modes," 94, stresses the different traditions ellenbogen, "The Representation of the Seven Liberal Arts,"
which stand behind the images and the texts. This is justified, yet it Twelfth-Century Europe and the Foundation of Modern Society,
does not necessarily prove that the fusion of the two strains was first ed. M. Clagett, G. Post and B. Reynolds (Madison and London,
accomplished by the Cluny sculptor. L. Delisle, Le Cabinet des 1966), 39-55; P. Verdier, "L'iconographie des arts liberaux dans
manuscrits de la Bibliotheque Nationale. Etude sur la formation de l'art du moyen age jusqu'd la fin du quinzieme siecle," Arts liberaux
ce dip6t, Histoire generale de Paris, II (Paris, 1874), 458-81; idem, et philosophie medievale, Actes du quatrieme congres international
Inventaire des manuscrits de la Bibliothbque Nationale. Fonds de de philosophie medievale, Universit6 de Montreal (Montreal and
Cluni (Paris, 1884), 337-73. The twice completely published cata- Paris, 1969), 304-55; J. Kronjiger, "BertihmteGrieche.nund R6mer
logue of the monastic library seems to date from the years 1158-61. als Begleiter der Musen und der Artes Liberales in Bildzyklen des 2.
Of its 570 numbers, a part must represent acquisitions of the early bis 14. Jahrhunderts" (Dissertation, Marburg, 1973); K.-A. Wirth,
and middle of the twelfth century. But a precise judgment is made "Eine illustrierte Martianus-Capella-Handschrift aus dem 13. Jahr-
impossible because of the drastic losses suffered by the library in hundert," Staidel-Jahrbuch, VI (1977), 319-408; M. Evans, "Alle-
1562. The titles quoted by me represent No. 414 of the inventory. gorical Women and Practical Men: The Iconography of the Artes
Reconsidered," Medieval Women, ed. D. Baker, Studies in Church
23. Virey, "Cluny," CA (Moulins-Nevers), LXXX (1913), 85.
History, Subsidia, 1 (Oxford, 1978), 305-29.
24. Conant, Cluny, 87, note 30.
37. De nuptiis, ed. Dick, 221.
25. P. Quarr6, "La date des chapiteaux de Cluny et la sculpture romane
38. Leiden, Universittitsbib. Voss. lat. q. 33, fol. lv. F. Mtitherich, "'De
de Bourgogne," Annales de Bourgogne, XXXIX (1967), 159-60.
Rhetorica'. Eine Illustration zu Martianus Capella," Festschrift
26. Lloyd, 336-49, publishes drawings of all the inscriptions. A further Bernhard Bischoff zu seinem 65. Geburtstag, ed. J. Autenrieth and
series is found in Conant, Cluny, 171-73. P. Brunh61zl(Stuttgart, 1971), 198-206, pl. 11.

39. Most recently, Cologne, Schniitgen Museum, Ornamenta Ecclesiae. 53. Boethius, De consolatione Philosophiae, ed. L. Bieler, Corpus
Kunst und Kiinstler der Romanik (Cologne, 1985), I, 66, No. A 11. Christ., XCIV (Turnhout, 1957), 2; P. Courcelle, La Consolation de
40. Wirth, "Martianus-Capella-Handschrift,"54-55. Philosophie dans la tradition litteraire. Antecedents et posterite de
Boece (Paris, 1967).
41. Terret, Sculpture bourguignonne, 150, with a lack of clarity on the
relation between the Liberal and the Mechanical Arts. L. Brehier, 54. Cf. passages like Ecclesiastes 24:5-6; Proverbs 8:22-31, 8:15, 9:1.
Lart chritien (Paris, 1928), 215, counts the eight Gregorian Modes 55. On this issue, see the discussion of Wirth, "Von mittelalterlichen
as part of the iconography of the Liberal Arts. A. and J. Talobre, Bildern."
La construction de l'abbaye de Cluny. Etude archeologique (Ma^con,
56. W. H6rmann, "Probleme einer Aldersbacher Handschrift (Clm
1936), 133, follow Terret's conclusions. Since then the Liberal Arts
are mentioned as among the themes illustrated on the capitals by 2599)," Buch und Welt. Festschrift fiir Gustav Hofmann zum 65.
M. Aubert, La sculpture frangaise au moyen aige (Paris, 1946), 91; Geburtstag dargebracht (Wiesbaden, 1965), 352 and pl. 4 (fol.
Quarr6, "Dates des chapiteaux de Cluny," 157; Stratford, "Roman- 101v); E. Klemm, "Artes liberales und antike Autoren in der
Aldersbacher Sammelhandschrift Clm 2599," ZfKg, XLI (1978),
esque Sculpture in Burgundy," 1357.
1-15; Wirth, "Von mittelalterlichen Bildern,"323.
42. Wirth, "Martianus-Capella-Handschrift,"43.
57. Alan of Lille, Anticlaudianus, ed. R. Bossuat, Textes philosophiques
43. Paris, B.N., MS. lat. 3110, fol. 60; Alverny, "La sagesse," 261-64 du moyen age, 1 (Paris, 1955), index; Courcelle, Consolation,
and 278; Wirth, "Martianus-Capella-Handschrift," 61, fig. 21; 54-56.
Kronjager, Beriihmte Griechen, 19-20 and 64, n. 154-56 (on the
58. "Advertendum siquidem, quod licet tot sint diversitates scientiarum,
subject of the attributes); Ornamenta Ecclesiae, I, 64-65, No. A 9.
tamen per membra Prudentiae principaliter in hoc loco designantur
44. Pougnet, "Theorie et symbolisme," 337: "du vers qui l'accompagne trivium et quadrivium, scilicet septem artes liberales utpote eius
on ne lit que ceci:... VENS QAS DECOQIT AESTAS que j'essaye membra principalia, sic ut postea patebit." (Radulphus de Longo
de completer tant bien que mal ainsi: "Falx resecat spicas fervens
Campo, In Anticlaudianum Alani commentum, ed. J. Sulowski,
quas decoquit aestas.'"' Polska akademia nauk zaklad historii nauki i techniki, zrodla do
45. This is how the matter has most recently been explained by Hearn, dziejow nauki i techniki, XIII [Wroclaw, Cracow and Gdansk,
Romanesque Sculpture, 108. 1972], 46.) In an extension of this passage, Prudentia is here
conceived in terms of Boethius's description.
46. Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialectic, Arithmetic, Music, Geometry, Astro-
nomy. Cassiodorus, De artibus ac disciplina liberalium litterarum, 59. Remigii Autissiodorensis, Commentum in Martianum Capellam,
PL, LXX, cols. 1159-1220 (sequence of the capitals); idem, De ed. C. E. Lutz (Leiden, 1962-65), I, 66 (concerning the beginning of
institutione divinarum litterarumedited in the same volume, Ch. 27, Book I).
cols. 1140-41; Isidori Hispalensis, Etymologiae, ed. W. M. Lindsay 60. Remigii, Commentum, 113, concerning I, 25.21: Fronesis enim
(Oxford, 1911), I, 2 (also PL, LXXXII, cols. 73-74). Martianus mater Philologiae mortalis fingitur fuisse, atque ideo ipsam Phi-
Capella, on the other hand, gives the order as follows: Grammar, lologiam mortali matre progenitam necesse erat esse mortalem,
Dialectic, Rhetoric; Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy, Harmony quod idea fingitur quia prudentia saeculi per se mortalis et caduca
(=Music). The catalogue of the Cluny library mentioned above (see est nisi studiis verae sapientiae immortalitatem consequatur."
note 22) from the middle of the twelfth century lists Cassiodorus'
De artibus and Institutiones (Nos. 231, 395) as well as Isidore's 61. Klemm, "Artes liberales,"4.
Etymologiae (Nos. 392-94) and Martianus Capella (Nos. 476-78) 62. "... ut per prudentiam suam suorum in antea provideret salutem"
with commentaries, whose authors are not mentioned. The greater (Vita Maioli, PL, CXLII, col. 392). An earlier statement on the
part of these standard works must have been a part of the older similarity between wisdom and prudence from the ecclesiastical
holdings of the library, as is also indicated by the two surviving point of view is found in a letter of Archdeacon Peter of Cambrai to
fragments of the books (Paris, B.N., MS. N.A. lat. 340 and 1478; Hucbald, dated around 910 (PL, CXXXII, col. 975-76).
Delisle, Cluni, 162-65, No. 91, and 16062, No. 90). 63. Compare the material published by Wirth, "Martianus-Capella-
47. Pougnet, "Th6orie et symbolisme," 117. Handschrift."
48. Terret, Sculpture bourguignonne, 144: "coffret ou livre." Also un- 64. Yet versified inscriptions consisting of a number of verses for each
certain on the identification is Crozet, "Apropos de Cluny," 156. personification or entire poems have been preserved: a cycle of
49. Pradel, Sculptures romanes, 7. tituli, each consisting of four lines for the Liberal Arts, including
Sapientia is ascribed to Theodulph of Orleans (MGH, Poetae, I,
50. Katzenellenbogen, Allegories, 55. S. Mahl, Quadriga virtutum. Die 629-30). Another collection of dispersed verses concerning the
Kardinaltugendenin der Geistesgeschichteder Karolingerzeit,Beiheft Artes is published by Wirth, "Martianus-Capella-Handschrift,"
zum Archiv fiur Kulturgeschichte, 9 (Cologne and Vienna, 1969), 320-34. To be added, further: MGH, PLC, V, 3rd Part, 646.
65. The carved and painted versions as they are rendered in the
51. Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture, 111-12.
drawings show certain variant letter forms: d of Prudentia, G, E
52. The citation in support of his interpretation from Theodulph of and N in agendum. From this, it can be concluded that the model
Orleans' poem No. 46, De septem liberalibus artibus in quadam had not received a definitive form binding on the artisans who
pictura depictis, where a discus bearing a picture of the Arts and the executed the inscriptions on the capitals. Was this model perhaps
Cardinal Virtues is described, in no way carries the implication identical with the manuscript used for the iconography of the
attributed to it: the poet places in the hands of Moderatio (as he figure?
calls Temperantia) the fortia frena and flagella, in order to portray 66. Pougnet, "Thborieet symbolisme," 337.
her action in the context of horsemanship, and not as if her business
was the punishment of children. (MGH, PLC, I, 545). For the 67. Conant, Speculum, V, 282.
reconstruction of the discus, see Wirth, "Von mittelalterlichen 68. Virey, 41, and earlier, in the same sense, Pouzet, "Notes," 15-17.
Bildern,"278-82). Pougnet, on the other hand, who had originally offered this reading,

left it open on which of the severely damaged capitals the second GBA, CXIV, 1972, 12. Oursel, Bourgogne romane, 137, and Hearn,
half of the cycle might have been found (Pougnet, "Th6orie et Romanesque Sculpture, 112-13, follow Conant. Hearn believes this
symbolisme," 337). and the Corinthian capital to be an enlargement of the original
program. For him, the bather, fighter, discus thrower and reader
69. Occasionally assumed to have repeated the subject already depicted
constitute "an allegory of the human wisdom found in learning."
on the capitals with Justice, previously discussed (Conant, Specu-
lum, V, 282; idem, Cluny, 88; Oursel, Bourgogne romane, 137; 85. Terret, Sculpture bourguignonne, 152.
Vergnolle, Ra, 99; Rupprecht/ Hirmer, 107 and fig. 144 below). 86. J. Adhemar, Influences antiques dans lPartdu moyen age frangais.
70. Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture, 112. Recherches sur les sources et les thbmes d'inspiration (London,
71. Evans, Cluniac Art, 113. 1937), 196, identifies the theme involved. Diemer, 326, No. 48. For
the type with the scythe, compare: Chronicon Zwifaltense minus,
72. Terret, Sculpture bourguignonne, 150-52. Stuttgart, Landesbib. Cod. Hist. fol. 415 (around 1160-70), fol. 17v,
73. Conant, Speculum, V, 282, writes "with the hands in the attitude for Grivot/Zarnecki 2, 26, fig. j, and Augsburg, Rathaus, Suevia Sacra
receiving a consecrated host," an anachronistic view of the icono- (Augsburg, 1973), 182-83, No. 182 and fig. 171. For personifica-
tions of Summer without an attribute: E. J. Beer, Die Glasmalereien
graphic type involved. But see also Evans, Cluniac Art, 113.
der Schweiz vom 12. bis zum Beginn des 14. Jahrhunderts, Corpus
74. G. A. Schissler, "Fides II, Theologische Tugend," RDK, VIII Vitrearum Medii Aevi, Switzerland, I (Basel, 1956), 34, pl. 5 (Rose
(Munich, 1984), 773-830. of the Cathedral of Lausanne, before 1235). A monograph on the
75. R. Kroos, Das Schrein des heiligen Servatius in Maastricht und die representation of the Seasons is still lacking.
vier zugehorigen Reliquiare in Briissel, Ver6ffentlichungen des 87. On the motif of a plant pressed against the body, see the personifica-
Zentralinstituts in Munchen, VIII (Munich, 1985), 251 and fig. 126. tion of May in the calendar miniature of a Sacramentary fragment,
The reliquary, preserved in the Mus6es Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire
Berlin, Staatsbib. Ms. theol. lat. fol. 192 Fragment, Fulda, last third
in Brussels, was up to now identified as the reliquary of St. of the 10th century (Berlin-Dahlem, Staatliche Museen, Zimelien.
Gondulphus (see Kroos, 248-49). A reproduction in color of the
enamel is found in the exhibition catalogue, Cologne, Schnuitgen Abendliindische Handschriftendes Mittelalters aus den Sammlungen
der Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz [Berlin, 1975-76], 42, No. 34
Museum, Rhein und Maas. Kunst und Kultur 800-1400 (Cologne, and 57, fig. 29).
1972), following 260. Kroos cites as antecedents for the attribute of
Spes only examples from Roman Antiquity. According to Conant, 88. Grivot/Zarnecki 2, 31 and fig. O 3-4.
Speculum, V, 282, the Cluny figure holds a heart, an observation 89. Rabanus Maurus, De originibus rerum, Monte Cassino, Cod. 132
which cannot be verified.
(1022-35), p. 253; M. Reuter, Text und Bild im Codex 132 der
76. Conant, Speculum, V, 282: "Its iconographic type is used in Gothic Bibliothek von Montecassino "Liber Rabani de originibus rerum.
times for Largesse, and here doubtless stands for Charity." Untersuchungenzur mittelalterlichenIllustrationspraxis, Minchener
77. M. von Thadden, Die Ikonographie der Caritas in der Kunst des Beitrage zur Medidvistik und Renaissance-Forschung, 34 (Munich,
Mittelalters (Dissertation, Bonn, 1951), catalogue section, 213-14. 1984), 141-42 and pl. 40; Chronicon Zwifaltense (see above, n. 86);
Rose of Lausanne (Beer, Glasmalereien, 34 and pl. 5).
M. Wellershoff-von Thadden, RDK, III (Stuttgart, 1954), 343-56.
The author knows only the example at Sens for a Caritas with an 90. Bowl in the Bonn Landesmuseum, 12th century: see most recently
open chest. On the Sens figure, see W. Sauerlander, Skulptur in Ornamenta Ecclesiae, I, 60-62, No. A 7. Good reproduction of the
Frankreich 1140-1270 (Munich, 1970), 100, and pl. 61 above; a figure in J. Weitzmann-Fiedler, Romanische gravierte Bronzeschalen
reflection of the carving is found at Villeneuve-l'Archeveque (idem, (Berlin, 1981), pl. 62.
pl. 178).
91. All four cycles show that personification; see the Lausanne Rose
78. Oral communication in a lecture at the Kalamazoo Conference,
(Beer, Glasmalereien, 36 and pl. 7).
92. Weitzmann-Fiedler, loc. cit.
79. Wirth, "Martianus-Capella-Handschrift,"57.
93. Terret, Sculpture bourguignonne, 152-53, interprets the figure as a
80. The only apparent exception within the context of the Artes is a personification of Winter, ignoring its rather light clothing.
kind of round box held by Astronomia in an illustration of the
Hortus Deliciarum, which poses a similar problem for scholarship. 94. H. Peters, "Falke," RDK, VI (Stuttgart, 1973), 1333-37; O. Picht,
G. Minzel, Der Zyklus der siebenfreien Kiinste in der Vorhalle des C. R. Dodwell, F. Wormald, The St. Albans Psalter (Albani
Freiburger Miinsters. Eine ikonographische Untersuchung (Frei- Psalter), Studies of the Warburg Institute, 25 (London, 1960), pl. 6.
On the iconography of the Months: O. Koseleff, "Die Monatsdar-
burg, 1950), 25-26, suggests that the object is a bushel measure, and
Kronjiger, Beriihmte Griechen, 164, note 157, follows him in this stellungen der franz6sischen Plastik des 12. Jahrhunderts" (Disser-
view. tation, Marburg, 1931), partly published, Marburg, 1934; J. C.
Webster, The Labors of the Months in Antique and Mediaeval Art
81. Bamberg, Staatl. Bibl., Class. 5, fol. 9v. Munich, Bayerische Staats- to the End of the Twelfth Century, Northwestern University Studies
bibliothek, Bayerns Kirche im Mittelalter. Handschriften und in the Humanities, 4, and Princeton Monographs in Art and
Urkunden aus Bayerischen Staatsbesitz (Munich, 1960), No. 212, Archaeology, 21 (Evanston, 1938).
fig. 9.
95. Sower in October: Berlin, Staatsbib. Ms. theol. lat. fol. 192 Frag-
82. Katzenellenbogen, Allegories; Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture, 111; ment (see above, n. 87); The Hague, Kgl. Bibliothek, Ms. 76 F 13,
Stratford, "Romanesque Sculpture in Burgundy," 1357. fol. 10v; O. Koseleff, "The Calendar Cycle of the F~camp Psalter,"
Studien zur Buchmalerei und Goldschmiedekunst des Mittelalters.
83. Pougnet, "Thborieet symbolisme," 337.
Festschrift fuir Karl Hermann Usener zum 60. Geburtstag, ed.
84. Conant, Speculum, V, 285; idem, Speculum, VII, 30; more reserved F. Dettweiler, H. Kollner and P. A. Riedl (Marburg, 1967), 209-24,
is the same author in his Cluny, 89, without, however, withdrawing fig. 10. On the literary tradition: E. Dahl and P. Skarup, The Ages
his interpretation: Conant, "L'abside et le choeur de Cluny III," of Man and the Months of the Year, Poetry, Prose and Pictures

Outlining the "Douze mois figures" Motif Mainly Found in Shep- alterlichen Bildern, 324-25; X. Barral i Altet, "Les mosaiques
herd's Calendarsand in Livres d'Heures (14th to 17th Century); Det m6di6vales de la ville de Reims," CA (Champagne) CXXXV (1977),
Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab, Historisk-filosofiske 79-108.
Skrifter 9:3 (Copenhagen, 1980), 48-49.
117. L. B6gule, Les incrustations dicoratives des cathedrales de Lyon et
96. The first half of the hexameter on the left side of the mandorla is de Vienne. Recherches sur une dicoration d'origine orientale et sur
cut straight down and to the full width of the letters, whereas in the son developpement dans l'art occidental du moyen age (Lyon,
second half, on the right side, the letters are cut on a bias, in the 1905), 22-23; H. Kier, Der mittelalterliche Schmuckfussboden unter
form of a V, as in the other inscriptions (Lloyd, 347, fig. 9 C). besonderer Bericksichtigung des Rheinlandes, Die Kunstdenkmiler
97. Angers, Bibl. Mun. MS. 303 (294), fol. 128r. Louis Trochet, Angers, des Rheinlandes, Beiheft 14 (Diisseldorf, 1970), fig. 404.
kindly provided me with a microfilm of the folio. Cf. A. Molinier,. 118. Ivrea, Seminario. P. d'Ancona, L'uomo e le sue opere nelle figu-
Catalogue general des manuscrits des bibliothbequespubliques de razioni italiane del medioevo (Florence, 1923), 128 and fig. 48a.
France, XXXI (Paris, 1898), 292-94; H. Walther, Initia carminum RDK, III, 1393.
ac versuum medii aevi posterioris latinorum. Alphabetisches Ver-
zeichnis des Versanfinge mittellateinischer Dichtungen, Carmina 119. See nn. 35-36 and 64, as well as J. von Schlosser, Schriftquellen zur
medii aeviposterioris latina, I, 1 (Gittingen, 1969), 1056, No. 20130. Geschichte der karolingischen Kunst, Quellenschriften zur Kunst-
geschichte und Kunsttechnik des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit, N.F.
98. Just around the middle of the nineteenth century, casts of the
4 (Vienna, 1892), 373-83, Nos. 1023-28. On the number and
capitals were made, as is indicated in the Bmon, XVII (1851), distribution of the monuments, see further J. Tezmen-Siegel, Die
163-67. On the casts campaign of 1929, see Conant, Speculum
Darstellungen der septem artes liberales in der bildenden Kunst als
V, 280.
Rezeption der Lehrplangeschichte, tuduv-Studien, Reihe Kunst-
99. B. Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, Paperback geschichte, 14 (Munich, 1985).
edition (Notre-Dame, Ind., 1978), Ch. II.
120. Udalricus III, 8, De pueris et eorum magistris: "Pueri autem, qui
100. M^le, Art religieux, 321: "la clef de tout cet ensemble symbolique." sunt in conventu nostro, non ultra senarium protendunt, et eorum
Schrade, "Darstellungen der T6ne," 235. magistri sunt duo, si non plures, tamen nunquam sunt pauciores."
101. The attempted interpretation of Vetter/Diemer has not thus far (PL, CIL, col. 742, and Hunt, Cluny under Saint Hugh, 96-99).
been critically taken up in the discussion. E. Lesne, Histoire de la proprietd ecclsiastique en France. V. Les
ecoles, de lafin du VIlle siecle a lafin du XIIe (Lille, 1940), 89-94
102. Pougnet, "Theorie et symbolisme," 336-37.
(not free from a certain tendency to overestimate the degree of
103. Conant, Cluny, 87 and figs. 147-48. learning at Cluny); W. Teske, "Laienminche und Laienbrtider in
104. Conant, Speculum, V, 282. der Abtei Cluny. Ein Beitrag zum 'Konversen-Problem'. 1. Teil,"
Frahmittelalterliche Studien, X (1976), 279-80 and 308; idem, "2.
105. Justified criticism already in the review of E. Fernie, Art History, V Teil," Frahmittelalterliche Studien, XI (1977), 314 (in the twelfth
(1982), 130-31. century, the monks of Cluny conducted a school for the training of
106. Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture, 112. On p. 113, the conclusion that future clerics in the town).
the program is mariological is accentuated. 121. It is not necessaryhere to enter into the discussion of the Fifties on the
107. An example: Virey, 42. possible enmity of Cluny toward culture (J. Leclercq, "Cluny fut-il
ennemi de la culture?,"Revue Mabillon, XLVII [1957], 172-82), but
108. Terret, Sculpture bourguignonne, 129-30.
around 1100 the abbey was not considered a prominent cultivator of
109. Mile, Art religieux, 321. Comparable is Pouzet, "Notes," 2: "les the Liberal Arts. H. Wolter, Ordericus Vitalis. Ein Beitrag zur
symboles qui president l'harmonie des manifestations terrestres." kluniazensischen Geschichtsschreibung, Ver6ffentlichungen des In-
110. Conant, Speculum V, 285-86; idem, Speculum, VII, 30 and 32-35. stituts fir europaische Geschichte Mainz, 7 (Wiesbaden, 1955), 5-6.
As Salet notes (Bmon, 185), Conant took back this thesis in 1967, When Abbot Hugh died in 1109, and in connection with the
but too late for Oursel's book of 1968, Bourgogne romane, 137. canonization proceedings, successfully completed in 1120, it was
decided to procure a Vita of the saint, unexpected difficulties arose:
111. C. Heitz, "Reflexions sur l'architecture clunisienne," Ra, 15 F. Barlow, "The Canonization and the Early Lives of Hugh I, Abbot
(1972), 89. of Cluny," Analecta Bollandiana, XCVIII (1980), 297-334. Later,
112. Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture, 115: "this allegory of monastic Peter of Poitiers, secretary of the reigning abbot since 1122, Peter the
vocation." Venerable, did not fear to count Hugh among the intellectually
deficient abbots: "quibus videlicet illa eruditionis perfectio defuit"
113. Evans, Cluniac Art, 110-19. She is followed by L. Schiirenberg,
(PL, CLXXXIX, col. 62). In a more pious vein, but basically
"Cluniazenser," RDK, III (Stuttgart, 1954), 817. Compare also
similar, is the characterization of Hugh found in the Vita of Gilo:
Brehier, L'art chritien, 215.
"bonus utique scientia, melior conscientia, optimus temperantia,
114. Crozet, "A propos de Cluny," 156-57; Vergnolle, Ra, 100. See also forma angelicus, moribus compositus, naturali incessu conspicuus,
the recent article of H. M6bius, "Franzisische Bauplastik um 1100. sermone non affectato suavis, et aliis huiusmodi charismatibus
Form und Funktion im geschichtlichen Prozess," Skulptur des spectabilis" (PL, CLIX, col. 911). On the library of Cluny, see
Mittelalters. Funktion und Gestalt, ed. F. Mabiusand E. Schubert E. Lesne, Histoire de la propridtd ecclhsiastique en France. IV. Les
(Weimar, 1987), 55-56. livres, "scriptoria"et bibliothbques, du commencement du Vllle a la
115. Rupprecht/Hirmer, 106, Nos. 141-45. fin du XIe sidcle (Lille, 1938), 524-33; and A. Wilmart, "Le couvent
et la bibliothbque de Cluny vers le milieu du XIe sidcle," Revue
116. H. Stern, Recueil gindral des mosaiques de la Gaule. I. Province de Mabillon, XI (1921), 89-124.
Belgique. 1. Partie Ouest, Gallia, Supplement 10 (Paris, 1957),
91-93; A. Prache, Saint-Remi de Reims. L'oeuvre de Pierre de Celle 122. R. Hamann-MacLean, "Das ikonographische Problem der 'Fried-
et sa place dans l'architecturegothique, Bibliothbque de la Soci&t6 berger Jungfrau'," Marburger Jahrbuch fiir Kunstwissenschaft, X
frangaise d'Archbologie (Geneva, 1978), 25-26. Wirth, "Von mittel- (1937), 37-87. Kronjager,Beriihmte Griechen, 134-35.

123. The connection has often been seen, most recently by Vergnolle, Ra, Kunst, Festschrift Heinrich Gerhard Franz (Graz, 1986), 267-82,
101, and Stratford, "Romanesque Sculpture in Burgundy," 1357. find in the Corinthian capital a distinct symbolic meaning.

124. On the other hand, Conant, Cluny, 88, presumes to find in the 125. Stratford, "Romanesque Sculpture in Burgundy," 1357; Pougnet,
existence of the Corinthian capital a proof of the contrary assertion: "Theorie et symbolisme," 386, held images and inscriptions to be
readable in situ. But according to more recent calculations, the
eight minus one equals the symbolic number seven. However, he
does not explain the programmatic sense of this. Seven years later, upper rim of the abacus of the capitals would have been situated
Conant gave a figurative interpretation of the same capital, propos- some 9.30m above the pavement level of the choir (Conant,
Speculum, XXX, text accompanying pl. 16).
ing to see in the pair of small quadrupeds on the abacus, with a
certain imaginative license, a hare and a wolf, and thus an illustra- 126. X. Barbier de Montault, Traite d'iconographie chritienne (Paris,
tion of the story of the hare and hound of the Physiologus (Conant, 1890), I, 308, recognizes in the personification of the second Mode
Speculum, XXX, 383-88 and pl. 16). D. and P. v. Naredi-Rainer, without hesitation "Une pleureuse sonnant les &chelettes des
"Das 8. Kapitell in Cluny III," Orient und Okzident im Spiegel der enterrements."


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