Art 215: Glorious Visions
This course will deal with the art of the Middle Ages, a time when visionary ideals and Christian religious inspiration helped artists depict unearthly realities. We will begin our examination of medieval art around the year 1000, when at least a few people expected that the end of the world was nigh. From the tenth century, we find the first great cycles of Apocalypse illustration. Byzantine and Ottonian art also expressed the sacred ceremonies of church and state. Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Santiago, and other sacred sites inspired architecture and artwork. We will examine the cults of saints and relics, and the buildings that housed them as the great national styles of Romanesque develop in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
In the mid-twelfth century emerges the Gothic style, which pervades all aspects of art and architecture through the years 1400 and well beyond. Architects, utilizing the daring technologies of ribbed-vault architecture and stained glass, are finally able to build the Heavenly Jerusalem on earth. At the same time, the intellects of the period cultivate a rational quest for knowledge that is inspired by Nature as well as the imagination. Elements of Gothic realism allow artists to create a virtual reality that saturates the senses in search of religious rapture and passion. At the end of the course, we will briefly examine the impact of the Black Death on artistic production in 1348 and beyond.
Lectures and assignments will be carried out according to the attached tentative daily schedule. More specific reading assignments will be made in class.
There will be three examinations, including two in-class midterms and a final. The first examination will count less, to serve as a practice experience for those who have not taken slide exams before. Theese exams may include slide identifications, identification of terms, visual comparisons, or short essays. Students should be able to identify and discuss in some detail all of the works illustrated in the texts or placed online in the class website. Exams are NOT cumulative.
This class requires two shorter papers on assigned topics. Details of the assignments will be made available in class in a timely fashion.
|Attendance and Participation|
Students are expected to attend all class meetings and contribute to the discussion.
Comparison between Morgan and Bamberg Apocalypse images.
Topics to be announced.
|February 19, Monday, in class, on Part I||10%|
|April 2, Wednesday, in class, on Part II||20%|
|Final Exam (A) Friday, May 4, 9-12 am on Part III.||20%|
Class lectures and study images have been placed online in a password-protected area. For information about how to access this material, please contact the professor.
Electronic Editions Required and supplemental readings will be placed online or passed out in class. Specific assignments for class discussion will be clearly announced in class ahead of time, and will be listed on the updated Daily Schedule online.
Students are responsible for all material presented in the textbooks and daily lectures. Specific assignments in the books by Petzold and Camille will not be made, but students are expected to follow along as the class progresses through the material. In some cases, the lectures and the textbooks will present different approaches to the same materials.
For a more medieval look to this page, install the gothic font Satanick, available from from FontFreak.