Courses Past

Introduction to the Art and Architecture of Medieval Europe

Undergraduate lecture: HSAR 274b

This course offers a selective chronological overview of European visual arts and architecture from the decline of the Roman Empire in the fifth century to the beginnings of Early Modern period in the fifteenth. Artfully shaped objects in various media – including manuscript painting, monumental sculpture, stained glass, small-scale decorative arts, textiles and religious edifices – will be explored, in the course of readings, lectures, and class discussions, not only for their formal values and iconographic meanings but also for what they reveal about their respective audiences and their circumstances of production and use. In emphasizing the dynamism and variety within the predominantly religious arts of the time, this class seeks to understand the long “Middle Ages” as a central age in Western civilization: a linchpin between antiquity and modernity whose values and aesthetics, for all their strangeness, continue to resonate today.

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