This course will examine the visual arts in Western Europe and the Byzantine East during the period normally known as the Middle Ages. Chronologically this stretches roughly from the reign of Constantine in the 4th century to the outbreak of the Black Death in Europe in 1348 (or stylistically from the end of the classical period to the dawn of the Renaissance). During this era, Europe saw strikingly new and original artistic forms, both in a secular context and in art related to the increasingly influential Christian church. Emphasis of the course will be placed on the nature of art and spirituality during these turbulent times. Other topics covered will include issues of aesthetics, iconography, artistic style, the making and function of art objects, and women in the Medieval world. This course will be require regular written assignments, a series of papers, and at least one substantial rewrite. (Course offered in alternate years)
Prerequisites: History of Western Art recommended, but not required.