Medieval Art 58.241/201
Dr. Liana Cheney


Medieval Art image

Syllabus of Lectures


COURSE DESCRIPTION: A survey of architecture, sculpture, and painting of Early Christian, Byzantine, Carolingian, Romanesque, and Gothic periods from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Emphasis on Hagia Sophia, Aachen Chapel, Saint Denis and the French cathedrals.

ORGANIZATION: Although class discussion is strongly encouraged, this is primarily a lecture course based upon the visual content of works of art presented by way of projected slides. Attendance is highly recommended for every class meeting. Students are responsible for the content of all lectures and assigned reading materials.

CLASS COMPORTMENT: Since this a professional presentation at the university level, you are not permitted to eat or drink during class lectures and discussion. Disabled students must see me on the first day of class to accommodate their individual needs.

OFFICE HOURS: Monday-Wednesday 4:00-6:00 p.m., Friday 12:00-1:00 p.m. or by appointment. My office is in Coburn Hall, Room 201

-James Snyder, Medieval Art: Painting, Sculpture and Architecture 4th-14th Century. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1990.
-A. Duby, Age of the Cathedrals: Arts and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.
-Frederick B. Artz, The Mind of the Middle Ages: An Historical Survey AD 200-1500. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.

In addition, a series of articles is placed on the Reserve Section of the O'Leary Library, under Garland Library of Art History, Vol, IV - Medieval Art - N5300.G32 (see attached Reserve Article List).

For further bibliography, see attached Reserve Book List. These books, with their respective call numbers, are placed on the Reserve Section of the O'Leary Library. Also check with the campus bookstore/South for various paperbacks on Medieval Art.

Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry
International Center of Medieval Art

ATTENDANCE: Class attendance is required. Exams are based on class lectures and discussion of visual and historical material.

EXAMINATIONS: There will be two (2) ten minute quizzes based on slide identification (name of the artist, title of the work, style and approximate date). These quizzes will be given at the beginning of the lecture and they will be selected from the illustrations found in your text - Trachtenberg and Hyman, Architecture. Also if necessary additional quizzes will be given to assist you in assimilating the visual material. In addition, there will be a MID-TERM EXAM. This examination will be based on slide comparisons, essays and definition of terms. And, a FINAL EXAM (date to be announced) will be based on material discussed from the Mid-Term Exam on. The format will be the same as the Mid-Term Exam. Examinations missed without prior excuse from me or written excuse for medical or other emergencies, obtained from the Dean of the College, cannot be made up.

PAPER: There will be one paper due December 2. All late papers will be penalized. The paper should be approximately 10 pages long, double spaced and typed with xeroxed illustrations or postcards for 200 level students. For 400 level students, the research paper should be of 15-20 pages. Topics must be approved by the instructor. A list of possible paper topics will be distributed. The schedule of deadlines for the paper is as follows:

Paper Topics due - Oct. 21
Bibliographies and Preliminary Outlines - Nov. 4
Final Outlines - Nov. 25
Paper Due - Dec. 2

GUIDELINES FOR WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT: Prior to completing your research, you should consult at least 8, post 1960 sources (books and articles). Although you may read survey texts (such a as those of Janson, Hartt, or Gardner), these do not count among the acceptable sources. You may develop a good bibliography for any topic you choose from the books and articles on the Reserve Section of the O'Leary Library/South Campus. Also, The Encyclopedia of World Art and The Oxford Companion to Art may be useful. The Art Index (an annual index of periodical literature on art) is very helpful.

NOTE ON PLAGIARISM: Be careful never to copy directly or directly adapt from another author without crediting the source. General sources must be listed in a bibliography; any direct quotation or paraphrase must be footnoted. Any unacknowledged copying will receive and F for the course.

HANDOUTS: A series of xeroxed materials will be given out throughout the course in order to help you with your reading and writing assignments.

EVALUATION: The final exam will count 25% of your final semester grade. The paper will also count 25% of your final semester grade. And the two quizzes with the mid-term examination will count 50% of your final semester grade.

MUSEUM VISITS: Students are individually responsible for visiting the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (both in Boston), the Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge), the Worcester Art Museum (Worcester), Whistler House Museum (Lowell), the Philips Academy Museum (Andover), and the Curry Museum.

OPTIONAL MUSEUM VISITS: Probably during the semester the Art History Club will sponsor some field trips to the Boston Museums. Also, there will be schedules of one or two trips to New York City, Worcester and, New Haven and Hartford, CT., and Washington, D.C. in order to visit some major exhibitions or museums. You will be encouraged to attend, but not penalized for not participating in these trips.

(N.B. Subject to change with a week of prior notice)

Sep. 27 - Quiz I.
It consists of identifying visual material presented in class or included in your required assignments. You will be asked to identify the name of the artist (if known), the title of the art work, the style, and an approximate date.
Oct. 2 - EXAM I. It will be based on slide identification, slide comparisons, essays, and definition of terms.
Oct. 16 - QUIZ II. Same format as Sept. 27.
Oct. 21 - Notify me of your paper topic.
Nov. 22 - EXAM II. Same format at October 2.
Dec. 2 - PAPER DUE.

(N.B. Subject to change with a week of prior notice)

Sep. 3 - Introduction to Medieval Art and Culture

Sep. 6-13 - The End of the Ancient World: Early Christian Art
The disintegration of classicism; developments in Early Christian Art in the West.
Snyder, Medieval Art, 15-65; Tierney, Painter, The Middle Ages, 37-59; W. Lowrie, Art in the Early Church, 5-6 xerox;
A. Grabar, Early Christian Art.

Sep. 16 - The Holy Land: Early Christian Remains in Constantinople & Jerusalem
Snyder, Medieval Art, 66-68; 72-75; R. Krautheimer, Introduction to an Iconography of Medieval Architecture, Journal of Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, V, 1942, 1-33.

Sep. 18 - The Holy Book: Illustrations of Scripture in Early Christian Art
Snyder, Medieval Art, 79-95

Sep. 20 & 23 - Byzantine Art in the Age of Justinian
Snyder, Medieval Art, 99-125; D. T. Rice, The Art of Byzantium.

Sep. 25 - The Second Golden Age of Byzantine Art
Snyder, Medieval Art, 126-156

Sep. 27 - QUIZ I

Sep. 27 - The Non-Classical World in the North & the Spread of Christianity
Snyder, Medieval Art, 175-181; Tierney, Painter, 61-81; J. Hubert, J. Porcher, W.F. Volbach, Europe of the Invasions.

Oct. 2 - EXAM I

Oct. 4 - Hiberno-Saxon Art in Ireland & England
Snyder, Medieval Art, 182-190; Tierney, Painter, 85-134; F. Henry, Irish Art.

Oct. 7 & 9 - Carolingian Art: Revival and Transformations
Snyder, Medieval Art, 191-229; Tierney, Painter, 135-151; 155-170; J. Hubert, J. Porcher, W. Volbach, The Carolingian Renaissance.

Oct. 11, 13 & 15 - Diffusion and Diversity in the 10th Century
Snyder, Medieval Art, 230-252; J. Beckwith, Early Medieval Art.

Oct. 16 - QUIZ II

Oct. 16-18 - The Romanesque Spirit
M. Schapiro, On the Aesthetic Attitude in Romanesque Art, (Reserve).

Oct. 21 - The Year 1000: Aspects of the 11th Century
"First Romanesque" Art; revival or survival of monumental stone sculpture.
Snyder, Medieval Art, 255-260; Tierney, Painter, 223-239; G. Duby, The Age of the Cathedrals, 30-53. (Reserve).


Oct. 23 & 25 - Pilgrimage & Crusade: Early Romanesque Art in S.W. France & Northern Spain
Snyder, Medieval Art, 261-273; Tierney, Painter, 243-256; M. Schapiro, From Mozarabic to Romanesque at Silos, Selected Papers, (Reserve).

Oct. 28 & 30 - Burgundy: Cluny and Monasticism
Snyder, Medieval Art, 274-290.

Tierney, Painter, 243-256.

Nov. 4, 6-8 - 1066: Norman France and England
Snyder, Medieval Art, 291-305; Tierney, Painter, 317-333.

Nov. 13-15 - Romanesque Art in Aquitaine, Lanquedoc and Provence: Troubadours and Heresies
Snyder, Medieval Art, 305-312; Tierney, Painter, 444-457; M. Schapiro, The Sculptures of Souillac, in Selected Papers, (Reserve).

Nov. 18 - Italy in the 11th and 12th Centuries
Snyder, Medieval Art, 313-333

Nov. 20 - The Rhineland: Empire and Papacy
Snyder, Medieval Art, 334-340

Nov. 22 - EXAM II

Nov. 25 - The Gothic Cathedral: Structure and Symbol
O. Von Simpson, The Gothic Cathedral, excerpts, xerox; Snyder, Medieval Art, 343-349; Tierney, Painter, 403-424; Duby, 97-135.

Nov. 27 - Abbot Suger and St. Denis
Snyder, Medieval Art, 350-356; Tierney, Painter, 295-308; 433-444; E. Panofsky, Abbot Suger on the Abbey Church of St. Denis.

Dec. 2 - Developments in Early Gothic Art
Snyder, Medieval Art, 356-361; The Cathedral of Chartres, Snyder, Medieval Art, 361-373; A. Katzenellenbogen, The Sculptural Program of Chartres Cathedral, Chapters 1-3.

Dec. 2 - PAPER DUE

Dec. 4 - High Gothic: Amiens, Reims
Snyder, Medieval Art, 373-395; Tierney, Painter, 345-364; Duby, 136-165.

Dec. 6 - Rayonnant Art: The Court Style
Snyder, Medieval Art, 395-401; Tierney, Painter, 382-388; Duby, 166-187.

Dec. 9 - Gothic Painting
Snyder, Medieval Art, 438-444; The Spread of French Gothic; Snyder, Medieval Art, 402-437; Duby, 195-220.