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History of European Medieval Art
ARTH 212.01
Fall, 2012


5:30-8:00, Tuesday(FAC 166)

Dr. Allen S. Farber
303 Fine Arts Center (436-2558); E-Mail: FARBERAS

Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday, 9:00-10:00, Wednesday, 1:00-3:00, or by appointment. Notes can be left in my mailbox in 222 FAC, or messages can be left through Voice-Mail at 6-2558. I would also encourage you to communicate with me over E-Mail.

Catalog Description:
A survey of the visual arts in Western Europe from the end of the Ancient world to the Late Gothic period. Emphasis placed on the development of regional styles and the survival of the Greco-Roman tradition.

Purposes of the Course:
1) To acquaint you with the major monuments and developments/ transformations in the art of the Middle Ages.
2) To acquaint you with the variety of ways scholars have approached the art of this period, and to give you the opportunity to read, think, look, and write critically about art and art history.

Course Requirements:

1) This course will be conducted in a lecture/discussion format. I would like to encourage as much active participation in the class as possible.

2) The World Wide Web presents us with a phenomenal resource to study art. Images and other materials can be made immediately accessible to students. I intend to take advantage of this resource. I will be posting materials relevant to the course on this course's Web site: I plan to post material to help you prepare for class discussions and seminars. To keep up to date, check the page entitled ARTH 212 Assignments:

3) 3 short papers (3-5 pages): 2 of these will be seminar papers. Twice during the semester, the class will focus on a major monument of Medieval art. You will be given materials in advance of the seminar to help you prepare for it. A week following the completion of the seminar you are expected to submit to me a 3-5 page, typewritten paper presenting your response to the discussion. It is expected that these responses will focus on a particular aspect of the topic.

The first seminar will be devoted to an examination of the mosaics of the church of San Vitale in Ravenna. The second seminar will be devoted to the Royal Portals of Chartres Cathedral.

Two of the short papers will be seminar reports, but for the third paper you will have the option of focusing on a topic of your own choice. Again I expect a 3-5 page paper, and you should explore the appropriate research materials available to you. You must get my approval of your topic before you start.


Marilyn Stokstad, Medieval Art, New York, 1st or 2nd edition. Stokstad includes a very useful bibliography which you should consult in your preliminary research for your papers.

Tentative List of Lecture Topics

What are the Middle Ages? Some basic definitions.
Crisis in the Ancient World and the beginnings of Christian art.
The Christianization of Rome.
The Art and Architecture of San Vitale
The Interaction between the Barbarian World and Christianity
in the British Isles.
Representations of Carolingian Imperial Authority.
The Art of the Medieval Church Treasury
The Eleventh Century Revival and the Great Age of Pilgrimage
Architectural Variety in the Romanesque Period
Coming Face to Face: the Great Romanesque Portals
The West Facade of Chartres Cathedral: the Royal Portals
The Development of Gothic Architecture
The Changing Conception of Christ and High Gothic Sculpture
Late Gothic Art and the development of Private Devotion