Courses / Spring 2014

Spring 2014

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    Course Number: HA 156B | CCN: 04943

    Pre-modern Visual Culture

    The Gothic cathedral, that most characteristic of medieval creations, has been variously portrayed as a symbol of the Heavenly Jerusalem, a theater for the arts, the supreme example of structural engineering, the reflection of Scholastic ideals, a showcase for “scientific” innovation and cross-cultural exchange, and a visual ‘bible for the poor.’ This course will explore all aspects of artistic endeavor on the Gothic site, from its stone vaulting sustained by flying buttresses and the elaborate carvings on the exterior, to the vibrant stained glass windows, rich metalwork, textiles and illuminated manuscripts adorning the interior. Recent work on the economic and social implications of this kind of large-scale building will place the cathedrals in a broader cultural context. Focus will be on key French and German monuments of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, including Saint-Denis, Laon, Notre-Dame of Paris, Chartres, Reims, Amiens, Freiburg, Trier, Cologne, Naumburg and the Sainte-Chapelle.


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