Beatrice Kitzinger


Beatrice Kitzinger is an art historian specializing in Latin book culture of the early Middle Ages. Her primary research centers on works traditionally classed outside the art historical canon, especially manuscripts from Brittany and the border regions of the Carolingian empire. Kitzinger’s courses on manuscripts emphasize codicology, processes of facture, image-text relationships, and interpretations based in codex format and function.

She currently teaches an undergraduate course devoted to manuscript illumination and the place of books in medieval culture, which draws heavily on Princeton’s Special Collections of original manuscripts, artist’s books, and facsimiles (see Course Spotlight from 2018). Manuscripts hold an integral place in the undergraduate introduction to medieval art that Kitzinger co-teaches with Charles Barber (Art & Archaeology), and in the combined explorations of medieval art and music that Kitzinger and Jamie Reuland (Music) invite students to join: a seminar in some years and regular meetings of the working group LUDUS, devoted to the active, performed, creative and re-creative study of pre-modern culture.

Kitzinger is the author of The Cross, the Gospels, and the Work of Art in the Carolingian Age (Cambridge University Press, 2019), a study that showcases numerous rarely studied codices; and editor with Joshua O’Driscoll of After the Carolingians: Re-defining Manuscript Illumination in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries (De Gruyter, 2019), a collection dedicated to little known manuscripts and their position in local networks of production. Kitzinger is currently working on a study of gospel narrative in Carolingian book painting, and, with undergraduate collaboration, compiling a database of manuscript colophons.