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Facies Bibliothecae Revelata: Carolingian Art as Spiritual Seeing" concludes that the most successful artists, such as those who illuminated the Grandval Bible and its successors, distilled the message or Scripture so convincingly "that words are the carnal elements and pictures their spiritual transformations" (188).
Indeed, Carolingian art history has often been reduced to a search for late antique models, but Lawrence Nees instead examines the filter of Carolingian politics through which so much art must now be viewed.
By contrast, Metzer's admirably frank conclusions on the stylistic features of the decoration are disappointing: `Thomas's ability to integrate the alien Insular and Mediterranean styles to create a viable new one was limited', she says; and she goes on to argue that the Trier Gospels provides a `less successful' antecedent for `the cross-fertilization of alien traditions' which would take place in Carolingian art.