In the twelfth century, a dazzling new style of art and architecture flourished in Europe. Known since the sixteenth century (often pejoratively) as Gothic, this aesthetic pervaded visual culture, from the soaring vaults of vast cathedrals to domestic interiors, and from precious gem-encrusted reliquaries to tapestries, ivories, panel paintings, manuscripts and jewellery. Works of art made in this period offer fascinating insights into the beliefs, priorities and even anxieties of their patrons and makers. In this module, we will explore the nature of image-making in the later Middle Ages: what were images for, and for whom? How and why were they made and used? What was the status of the artist? What does the Gothic image reveal about the workings of the medieval imagination? This module offers a survey of the development of Gothic art from its inception in the celebrated Abbey Church of St Denis to the dawn of the sixteenth century. Lectures will provide an overview of the arts in this period, and in seminars we will focus on particular works of art and architecture, including Canterbury's extraordinary Cathedral.
One 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar each week
Method of assessment
40% coursework, 60% examination
M CAMILLE - Gothic Art: Glorious Visions, 1996
N COLDSTREAM - Medieval Architecture, 2002
P BINSKI - Becket's Crown: Art and Imagination in Gothic England, 2004
V SEKULES - Medieval Art, 2001
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
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