Authority and Invention: Medieval Art and Architecture

Masterworks of art and architecture in Western Europe from the decline of Rome to the dawn of the Italian Renaissance. Explores the creative tension between the impulse to originality and the authority of classical models in the search for new art forms. Emphasis on representative works considered in their totality (architecture, painting, sculpture, and minor arts) as experiential wholes; and on the plurality of geographical and cultural contexts (Italy, Germany, France, England, and Spain). Exploration of the forms, types, styles, intellectual, theoretical, and cultural contexts of paradigmatic monuments from Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages (approximately 300-1300 A.D.). A complete list of monuments seen is on the course site.

This is a lecture course with no prerequisites. It is intended for both graduate and undergraduate students. Both groups attend the two weekly lectures (M/W) but have different weekly sections. Site visits on the syllabus are primarily for undergraduates; the content of section for graduates varies according to the interests of participants. For graduates, course requirements may also be tailored to suit their needs and interests. Taken as Medieval Studies 107 the course satisfies the Gen Ed requirements in Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding and in Study of the Past.

Requirements include quizzes on images, lecture materials and readings; short papers and prepared discussion topics; and a final research paper. Design students may substitute design problems of their own devising for the short papers and for the research paper. Attendance is required at lectures and section meetings.