Beatrice Kitzinger

Associate Professor of Art and Archaeology
Harold Willis Dodds University Preceptor
Office Phone
2S-7 Green Hall
Office Hours

On Leave Spring 2024



Beatrice Kitzinger specializes in the art of the western Middle Ages. Her book, The Cross, the Gospels and the Work of Art in the Carolingian Age, examines intersections of artistic media, of pictorial and liturgical space, and of historical, eschatological, and ritual time primarily in manuscript illumination between the 8–10th centuries. Kitzinger studies Carolingian-era illumination in an inclusive perspective, focusing on little-studied manuscripts from western France. She analyzes manuscript paintings in close relationship to their codicological contexts and to objects, actions, and spaces outside the boundaries of books, examining the project of book-making relative to a broader view of art-making in the Carolingian world. With Profs. Kathryn Starkey and Fiona Griffiths (Stanford University), Kitzinger is a founding series editor for the interdisciplinary series, Sense, Matter, and Medium: New Approaches to the Middle Ages with De Gruyter press. Kitzinger’s work has been supported by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Stanford University’s Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities, where she held a postdoctoral appointment before coming to Princeton. Kitzinger has worked in museums and libraries in Europe and the US, and taught for the Prison University Project at San Quentin Prison while at Stanford.

Current Research

Kitzinger’s current research focuses on the intersection of narrative and history in early medieval art, and she is reviving a longstanding interest in the relationship between art and theater in the Middle Ages. Her departmental course offerings reflect these topics, along with emphasis on the materials and techniques of medieval artwork, the function and status of medieval art, relationships between medieval artistic media, and those between medieval art and society. She also teaches for the HUM sequence and with Princeton’s Prison Teaching Initiative.


Ph.D., Harvard University, 2012

Selected Publications

The Cross, the Gospels, and the Work of Art in the Carolingian Age (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Ed., with Joshua O’Driscoll, After the Carolingians: Re-defining Continental Manuscript Illumination in the 10–11th Centuries (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2019).

"Wandalgarius' Letters of the Law: Figural Initials and Book Culture in the Late Eighth Century," forthcoming in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 84/3 (2021).

“Studying Images and Decoration,” in The Cambridge Companion to Medieval British Manuscripts, ed. Orietta DaRold and Elaine Treharne (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

"Judgment on Parchment: Besançon MS 579 and the Uses of Theater in Fourteenth-century France." Gesta 55/1 (2016).

"The Instrumental Cross and the Use of the Gospel Book Troyes, Bibliothèque municipale MS 960." Different Visions: A Journal of New Perspectives on Medieval Art 4, "Active Objects" (2014).

Western Medieval Art
Home Department and Other Affiliations
Art & Archaeology
Humanities Council
Manuscript, Rare Book and Archive Studies at Princeton
Medieval Studies