Sept. 6 [Back to top]
I. Introduction: DEFINITIONS AND ORIGINS
Petzold, Romanesque Art, 7-23; Camille, Gothic Art, 9-25.
What are the origins of the terms “Romanesque” and “Gothic”? What are the standard formal definitions of Romanesque and Gothic? Why are these definitions unsatisfactory? How do both Petzold and Camille seek to redefine these two periods?
II. Romanesque Architecture of the Pilgrimage Roads [Images]
“Pilgrims’ Guide to Santiago de Compostela” in READER; Petzold, 115-21.
What motivated the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela? What religious and political factors were involved in the orchestration of the cult of Saint James? What does the pilgrims’ guide emphasize in its description of Santiago? How does the architecture of Santiago relate to that of other major pilgrimage churches in France? How does the architectural planning facilitate pilgrimage and other functions of each church? What alternative schemes are deployed for pilgrimage churches elsewhere in Italy and France?
Sept. 13, 15 [Back to top]
III. Cistercians and Cluniacs: Romanesque Art & Architecture of the Monastic Orders [Images]
Petzold, 100-114. O. K. Werckmeister, “Cluny III and the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela,” in READER; Benedictine Rule, excerpts in Medieval Source Book on-line at http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/rul-benedict.html.
What are the essential tenets of the monastic life as outlined in the Benedictine Rule? How is monastic architecture designed to enhance symbolic and functional distinctions between individual parts of the monastic complex? What are the differences between Cistercian from Cluniac monasticism and how are these differences manifested in the art and architecture of the two orders? How are the innovations in Cluny III’s plan related to the pilgrimage churches on the route to Santiago by Werckmeister? What does he see as the motives for this emulation?
Sept. 20, 22 [Back to top]
IV. Spiritual Passage, Death and the Afterlife in French Romanesque Sculpture (Moissac and Vézelay; Autun and Conques) [Images]
M. F. Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture, 102-17; 169-91. Ilene H. Forsyth, “Narrative at Moissac : Schapiro’s legacy.” in READER.
What are the essential features of the canonical French Romanesque portals according to Hearn? What is the significance of the iconography (subject matter) for its location at the threshold of the church? What role do pictorial structure (composition and narrative disposition) and inscriptions play in the “reading” of the visual imagery? How does Forsyth use compositional analogies to “word play” to interpret the Moissac portal within the framework of contemporaneous monasticism?
V. Monstrosity, Corporeal Deformity and Fantasy in Monastic Art [Images]
Bernard of Clairvaux, Apologia to William of St. Thierry in READER; Schapiro, “On the Aesthetic Attitude in Romanesque Art,” in READER; T. Dale, “Monsters, Corporeal Deformities, and Phantasms in the Cloister of St-Michel-de-Cuxa,” in READER.
What are the origins of the term “fantasy” (phantasy) and how does its medieval meaning differ from most current definitions? What is the etymology of the term “monster” and how was it understood by medieval writers? What is Bernard of Clairvaux’s attitude towards art in general and the representation of monsters and other human and animal subjects in cloister capitals, in particular? How does Schapiro reinterpret Bernard’s complaint in terms of artistic creation? How does my own interpretation differ from Schapiro’s? What issues concerning these images are still left unresolved?
Sept. 29 [Back to top]
VI. Eve, Salome and Mary: Defining the Role of Women in Romanesque Art [Images]
Petzold, 123-129; Linda Seidel, “Salome and the Canons,” in READER.
What are the prescribed positive and negative roles for women in medieval Christian theology and how are they manifested in Romanesque art? What is the significance of nudity and corporeal posture in the figure of Eve at Autun? What is the significance of Salome in the context of the Toulouse capital depicting the Feast of Herod? According to Seidel, how would this figure have been understood by the intended audience of canons at the cathedral and how was the narrative represented in a different fashion for the monks of La Daurade?
VII. Glorified Bodies: Romanesque Cult Images, Saints and Tomb Portraits [Images]
H. Belting, “Statues, Vessels, and Signs: Medieval Images and Relics in the West,” in READER; T. Dale, “Rudolf von Schwaben, the Individual, and the Resurrected Body in Romanesque Portraiture,” in READER.
How did the Western church come to accept sculptural images of the Virgin Mary and the saints, in spite of traditional fears of idolatry? What explains the different approach to Holy Images in Byzantium and the West? What is the siginificance of the form, material of these images? To what extent can they be considered to be “portraits”? How do the cult images of the saints in metalwork suggest an analogy for funerary effigies like that of Rudolf von Schwaben? How are the theology of resurrection and the special dual status of the royal body reflected in the form and medium of the effigy?
Oct. 6 (QUIZ I on Oct. 3: covers lectures II-VI) [Back to top]
VIII. The Warrior Class: Knighthood & Masculinity, Holy Warfare and Crusade [Images]
Petzold, 71-85; Rachel Dressler, “Cross-legged Knights and Signification in English Medieval Tomb Sculpture,” in READER.
What was the political and religious function of the knight in medieval society? How did the knight gain a special, sanctified status during the Crusades? What allegorical roles did images of the knight fulfill in Romanesque art? How do the chansons de geste and narratives such as that on the Bayeux tapestry represent feudal, political and religious values?
To what social, historical changes does Dressler attribute the emergence of tomb effigies of male knights in England in the 13th century? How does she define masculinity in medieval terms, and how does she believe this is reflected in tomb effigies of medieval knights. What parallels does she find in medieval literature for the corporeal attitudes of the tomb effigies?
Oct. 11, 13 (Paper on Romanesque Sculpture Due Oct. 13) [Back to top]
IX. Reform, Renovatio, Ritual and Antiquarianism: Rome and South Italy in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries [Images]
Leo of Ostia, Chronicle of Montecassino in READER; R. Krautheimer, Rome: Profile of a City (Princeton, 2000), 161-202; E. Kitzinger, “A Virgin’s Face: Antiquarianism in Twelfth-Century Art,” in READER; Master Gregory, Marvels of Rome in READER. Additional Illustrations: Demus, Romanesque Mural Painting, plates 18-37.
What were the impetus and sources for the artistic revival that took place at Montecassino during the second half of the half of the eleventh century? What role did Montecassino play in the artistic revival in Rome after 1100? What were the ecclesiastical and political motives for the Gregorian reform and the subsequent artistic programs in Rome and what role did individual patrons play? Why does Rome constitute a special case of antiquarianism? How is ancient art re-interpreted by medieval viewers? How is the urban space of Rome Christianized by the ritual of Assumption Day? How does the apse mosaic of Santa Maria in Trastevere represent the ritual in concrete form and what is the meaning of the antiquarianism of its iconography? What was particularly innovative about the theme of this apse?
X. Romanesque Art and Architecture and Civic Pride in Tuscany and North Italy [Images]
Dorothy F. Glass, “Civic Pride and Civic Responsibility in Italian Romanesque Sculpture,” in READER; Petzold, 50-51; Hearn, Romanesque Sculpture, 155-63.
How does Romanesque architecture in Tuscany and North Italy differ from that of France studied thus far? How does the disposition of monumental stone sculpture depart from the French model? How are the roles of civic patron and artist highlighted?
Oct. 20: MIDTERM (covers lectures and readings I-IX) [Back to top]
Oct. 25 [Back to top]
XI. Multiculturalism in Twelfth-century Norman Sicily [a:Images; b:Images]
Petzold, 85-92, 146-155; W. Tronzo, “The Medieval Object Enigma and the problem of the Cappella Palatina,” READER
What specific historical circumstances led the Normans to appropriate the artistic forms and iconography of other Islamic and Byzantine cultures in their royal art and architecture? How are Islamic forms used differently in other contexts described by Petzold? How does Tronzo use ritual to explain the unusual combination of distinctive traditions in the Cappella Palatina in Palermo? How is the “Byzantine” decoration of the sanctuary adapted for the Norman ruler’s view point? What was the apparent function of the western “nave” space of the chapel?
XII. Relics and Cultural Appropriation in Medieval Venice [Images]
Dale, “Stolen Property: St. Mark’s First Venetian Tomb and the Politics of Communal Memory,” READER. For additional illustrations: Otto Demus, The Mosaics of San Marco in Venice, 4 volumes (Chicago, 1984).
What motivated the Venetian theft of the relics of Saint Mark from Alexandria? How do the architectural form and mosaic decoration of San Marco adapt Byzantine prototypes and why? How and why did the Venetians update their sacred narrative history around the focal point of Mark’s first Venetian tomb? How was San Marco transformed in the wake of the Fourth Crusade?
XIII. Innovation and Antiquarianism: Abbot Suger and the Origins of the Gothic [Images]
Suger, On the Abbey Church of Saint-Denis & its Treasures in READER; Otto Von Simson, The Gothic Cathedral, (Princeton, 1962), 3-20; 21-58; Fernie, “Suger’s Completion of Saint-Denis” in READER; Herbert L. Kessler, “The Function of Vitrum Vestitum amd the use of Materia Saphirorum in Suger’s Saint-Denis,” in READER
What were Abbot Suger’s motivations for the rebuilding of the west facade and choir of the abbey of Saint-Denis? What was innovative about the structure and form of his additions to the abbey church and its treasury? What theological, political and personal factors explain Suger’s new architecture? To what extent does Suger respond to the complaints voiced by Bernard of Clairvaux, his contemporary? How, according to Fernie, did the new choir also build upon and deliberately integrate elements of earlier architectural practice in general and the pre-existing fabric of St. Denis itself? How is his reverence and aesthetic appreciation for the past reflected in the objects of his refurbished treasury? How do the stained glass windows contribute in their material as well as their complement the process of revelation or spiritual seeing that is integral to Suger’s own thought?
Nov. 3 [Back to top]
XIV. The Gothic Architectural Revolution in the Ile de France, ca. 1150-1260: Aesthetics & Technology, Episcopal and Royal Pride [Images]
Camille, 27-40; Stephen Murray, Notre-Dame, Cathedral of Amiens (New York, 1996), 1-16; Beat Brenk, “The Sainte Chapelle as Capetian Political Program” in READER. For images and video of Amiens see http://www.learn.columbia.edu/Mcahweb/index-frame.html.
How were the components of the elevation and the formal vocabulary of French Gothic architecture transformed in the course of the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries? What different factors (politics, theology, technology, visuality) explain the revolutionary change and rapid diffusion of the Gothic style in architecture? How does Camille transcend the notion of formal development or evolution of form with his theory of visuality? What new model does Murray propose for understanding the design process at Amiens Cathedral? How did the cathedral chapters pay for their vast new cathedrals and what social tensions surrounded their construction? What was the function of the Sainte Chapelle and how did it serve to reinforce royal authority?
XV. Ornamenta Ecclesiae: Romanesque and Gothic Metalwork in service of the Liturgy [Images]
Theophilus, Treatise on Divers Arts in READER; Petzold, 61-66; R. Calkins, “Metalwork of the Church Treasuries,” in READER.
What is the role of the craftsman/artist according the Theophilus’s treatise on Divers Arts? Why did medieval metalworkers acquire a particularly elevated status as artists? What is the meaning of material radiance and how would Theophilus justify such expense in the wake of criticisms from ascetic minded clerics such as Bernard of Clairvaux? What were the different techniques were developed in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries? How does the iconography of individual objects reinforce or explain their functions? What is the meaning of “typological” interpretation and what does it suggest about the medieval Christian perception of Judaism?
Nov. 10, 15 [Back to top]
XVI. Chartres Cathedral, High Gothic Architecture, Stained Glass and Sculpture [Images]
Von Simson, The Gothic Cathedral, 91-141. P. Williamson, Gothic Sculpture, 1140-1300. (New Haven, 1995), 11-21, 37-48; J. Welch Williams, Bread, Wine, and Money. The Windows of the Trades at Chartres Cathedral in READER.
Where does the architecture of Chartres Cathedral fit in the formal development of Gothic? How is the cult of the Virgin Mary as principal titular saint of the cathedral constantly reinforced in the overall program of decoration–both in sculpture and stained glass? What formal and iconographic changes are witnessed in the sculpture and stained glass of the cathedral from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (contrast Chartres West and the transept portals)? To what extent do the form and iconography of sculpture and stained glass suggest fundamental theological and political ideas? How was the rebuilding of the cathedral financed, what role did different social groups play and how are they represented in the stained glass program? How does Williams counter traditional interpretations of the trades windows at Chartres as images of pious donation? What underlying social and economic tensions existed in thirteenth-century Chartres? How do images of tradesmen help consolidate clerical authority?
Nov. 17 (QUIZ II: covers lectures XII-XVI) [Back to top]
XVII. English Gothic Architecture and Visuality [Images]
Gervase of Canterbury, Treatise on the Fire and Repairs to the Cathedral of Canterbury, excerpt in READER; Snyder, Medieval Art, 402-414.
What were the circumstances that led to the introduction of Gothic architecture at Canterbury? What does Gervase suggest about the relationship between the cathedral and the citizens of the town? What valuable information does he provide both about the building process and the medieval perception of stylistic difference? How does English Gothic architecture depart from the French paradigm (in terms of elevation, ground-plan, facade design, vaulting etc) as represented by Amiens and Chartres? How can these differences be explained? What pictorial values are incorporated into English Gothic architecture?
XVIII. Naturalism, Expressionism and Devotional Images in Northern Europe, ca. 1235-1400 [Images]
Camille, Gothic Art, 103-131;133-161; J. Hamburger, “The Visual and the Visionary: The Image in Late Medieval Monastic Devotions,” in READER.
What formal changes can be witnessed in later medieval art from the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries? What historical, theological and social factors explain late medieval “naturalism” and expressionism?
What is a devotional image? How do later Gothic mystical visions and devotional images depart from biblically based images? What roles did nuns and their male supervisors play in the creation of a distinctive tradition of devotional art? What gender biases led visionary images to be associated primarily with women?
Nov. 24: THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY
Nov. 29 [Back to top]
XIX. Courtly Love and Art for the Laity in the Fourteenth-Century [Images]
Camille, Gothic Art, 167-73; R. Randall, “Popular Romances Carved in Ivory,” in P. Barnet, ed. Images in Ivory (Detroit, 1997), 63-79, illustrations, 218-248.
What are the principal literary sources of images of courtly love in French Gothic art? What different metaphors are used to describe courtship and how do they reflect misogynistic tendencies in medieval society? What iconographic signs gestures constitute the pictorial language of courtly love? How does this kind of imagery relate to the function of the objects it adorns? To what extent do these themes of profane love make reference to sacred art (in style or iconography)?
XX. “Convivencia” and Alterity in late Medieval Art: Cultural Emulation or Rejection amongst Christians, Jews, Muslims and Black Africans [Images]
Jerrilynn Dodds, “The Mudejar Tradition in Spain,” in The Legacy of Muslim Spain (Leiden, 1992), pp. 592-598 (File at Kohler Reserve); Debra Hassig (Strickland), “The iconography of rejection : Jews and other monstrous races.” in READER; P. Kaplan, “Black Africans in Hohenstaufen iconography,” in READER.
We have already scene how Italian (Western), Byzantine Orthodox and Muslim cultures were blended in Norman Sicily as an expression of political hegemony over a multi-ethnic state. How are the cultural interactions amongst Christians, Jews and Muslims characterized differently in the case studies presented here? What geographical, political and historical circumstances account for these differences? How and why are Jews, Muslims and other non-Christian groups represented in a common language of monstrosity? What explains the more positive treatment of black Africans under the Hohenstaufens?
Dec. 6 [Back to top]
XXI. Gothic Art and Architecture and the Rise of the Mendicant Orders in Italy [Images]
Pseudo-Bonaventure, Meditations on the Life of Christ, excerpt in READER; J. White, Art and Architecture in Italy, 1250-1400 (Harmondsworth, 1988), 21-44; 74-92. M. Trachtenberg, “Gothic/Italian Gothic: toward a redefinition” in READER.
Who was Saint Francis and what was revolutionary about the new order that he founded? How does Italian Gothic architecture depart from the French paradigm and what local factors explain its apparent conservatisim? How does Trachtenburg redefine Italian Gothic in more positive terms vis-à-vis French models? How does Trachtenburg suggest that Italian Gothic can be considered a departure from both earlier “historicist” Romanesque architecture in Italy and contemporary “modern” Gothic in France. What role did the rise of the mendicant orders play in the dissemination of Gothic architecture in Italy and how was the architectural planning adapted to the needs of these new orders? What different sources of inspiration are synthesized in Italian Gothic sculpture? How is mendicant spirituality reflected in the sculpture of the Pisani? How did devotional texts such as the Pseudo-Bonaventure’s Meditations foster new attitudes in the pictorial representation of the life of Christ?
Dec. 8 [Back to top]
XXII. Icon to Altarpiece: The Maniera Greca and Italian Painting around 1300 [Images]
Contract and Chronicles describing Duccio’s Maestà in READER; W. Tronzo, “Between Icon and Monumental Decoration of a Church: Notes on Duccio’s Maestà and the Definition of the Altarpiece,” in READER.
What role did the “maniera greca” (Byzantine art) play in the origins of the altarpiece? How did Italian masters adapt Byzantine style and iconography for the altarpiece? What specific new functions did the altarpiece perform? What was particularly remarkable about Duccio’s Maiestà? What does the contract for the Maiestà tell us about the relationship between artist and patron? What was the civic role of the new altarpiece?
Dec. 13 (***Essay on Gothic Ivories Due***)
XXIII. The “Waning of the Middle Ages”: Personalised visions of the afterlife, the Grotesque and the Macabre [Images]
Camille, Gothic Art, 151-161; Paul Binski, “The Macabre” in READER
Why has it often been assumed that medieval art in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries was in a state of decline? What new explanations are offered by Camille and Binski? Why was medieval art in its last phase so preoccupied with death and the macabre? What new functions did art fulfill in the preparation of the individual for death and resurrection?
Dec. 15 [Back to top]
E. Panofsky, Renaissance and Renascences in Western Art (New York, 1960), ch. 3: 114-161.
What distinguishes the Renaissance of the fifteenth century from the earlier revivals of ancient art and culture in the Middle Ages? What are the problems with establishing strict chronological boundaries between Renaissance and Medieval? To what extent do medieval functions of religious art continue into the Renaissance?
FINAL EXAM, Elvehjem L140, Dec. 22 (Thursday) 2:45-4:25 pm. [See Study Guide]