History of Art



In this gallery-based course you will take a journey through the Later Middle Ages (ca. 1250-1600), encountering Medieval works of art and architecture across London. Classes will be held in several different institutions in London, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, the National Gallery, and Westminster Abbey. In each institution, we will focus on a variety of medieval objects and media ranging from illuminated manuscripts, tapestries, architecture, sculpture, painted altarpieces and metalwork. Each week will be devoted to a particular theme such as the Cult of Saints, the Art of Death, Medieval Romance and the Court, and Medieval Arabic Art.

 Together we will examine objects from different geographical regions, including Western Europe, the Mediterranean and Arabic worlds, which will provide students with a wealth of historical information to be able to develop intellectual approaches to the significance of visual culture during the Later Middle Ages.

 By understanding the original functions of these works, we will investigate how their new modern settings may affect their meaning. By the end of the course, students will have acquired the ability to engage in close visual observation, to analyse and interpret works of art and architecture in terms of their materiality, patronage, social context and intended audiences.