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Medieval Art 250-1450 Matter, Making, and Meaning

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-08-23
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Medieval Art 250-1450: Matter, Making, and Meaning is an innovative textbook for the undergraduate medieval art course. Using a case-study approach, the textbook engages students in close readings of medieval objects and buildings in their devotional and experiential contexts. It asks students to consider the fascinating trajectories of medieval images and objects, from invention to production and from reception to preservation.

Building on the art historical traditions of iconography and social history, Medieval Art 250-1450 uses the critical methodologies of gender, race, class, queer theory, post-colonialism, narrative, embodiment, materiality, and eco-criticism to inform its case studies. These modes of analysis encourage debate and often demonstrate to students that ideas pertinent to contemporary issues are at stake in the study of medieval art. These critical methods support the image analyses in the text and intersect with the art historical content.

Author Biography

Nancy Thompson is Professor of Art and Art History at St. Olaf College.
Anne F. Harris is President of Grinnell College.

Table of Contents


How to Use This Book
Five Guiding Principles
The Seven Features of Each Chapter

CHAPTER ONE Liminality and Transformation: 250-450
Box 1.1. Thinkers: The Concept of the Threshold
Box 1.2 What's in a name? Early Christian and Late Antique
Religious Art in the Later Roman Empire
The Earliest Christian Images
Dura-Europos: House-church, Mithraeum, and Synagogue
Religious Art in Burial Sites
Sculptures of the Good Shepherd and Jonah
The Reign of Constantine: Christianity on an Imperial Scale in Rome
The Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine and The Arch of Constantine
Old St. Peter's
Santa Costanza
The Lateran Baptistery
Junius Bassus Sarcophagus
Moving East: Constantinople, Egypt, and Jerusalem
The Establishing of Constantinople
Christianity and Monasticism in Egypt
The White Monastery
Jerusalem and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Box 1.3 Period Text: Etheria (Egeria): The Pilgrimage of Etheria
Box 1.4 Medieval Goes Pop: The Holy Land Experience
The Early Fifth Century in Rome and Ravenna
Santa Pudenziana in Rome
Santa Sabina in Rome
Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome
Galla Placidia and Ravenna
Conclusions and Questions for Discussion
Cross-Temporal Exploration: Liminality
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER TWO Embodiment and Patronage: 450-650
Box 2.1 Thinkers: The Concept of Embodiment
Box 2.2 What's in a name? Byzantine
Ravenna: Arians and Orthodoxy
The Orthodox Baptistery
The Arian Baptistery
Theodoric's Mausoleum
Byzantium: Imperial Power in the East
Box 2.3 Medieval Goes Pop: Assassin's Creed: Revelations
Constantinople's Churches before Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia
Box 2.4 Period Text: Procopius: De aedificiis (On Buildings)
A Sixth-Century Pyx
The Barberini Ivory
The Vienna Dioscorides
The Garima Gospels
The Vienna Genesis
The Rabbula Gospels
Imperial and Papal Presence in the Italian Peninsula
Sant'Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna
San Vitale in Ravenna
Sant'Apollinare in Classe
Monastic and Pilgrimage art in Egypt and the Holy Land
The Monastery on Mt. Sinai
The Monastery at Bawit
Relics from the Holy Land
Conclusions and Questions for Discussion
Cross-Temporal Exploration: Embodiment throughout the Middle Ages
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER THREE Migrations and Materiality: 600-800
Box 3.1 Thinkers: Materiality
Box 3.2 What's in a name? Insular, Hiberno-Saxon, and Anglo-Saxon
Monasticism and Spiritual Migration
St. Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury
The Monasteries of St. Peter's in Wearmouth and St. Paul at Jarrow
Box 3.3 Period Text: Bede. The Lives of The Abbots of Weremouth and Jarrow
The Monastery of Skellig Michael
Monastic Saints and their Relics
St. Cuile?in's Bell
The Cathach of St. Columba and Other Relics
The Relics of St. Cuthbert
The Persistence of Buried Objects
Sutton Hoo and the Tomb of King Raedwald
The Staffordshire Hoard
The Ardagh Chalice
Sculpture in Stone and Bone
The Ruthwell Cross
The Franks Casket
The Matter of Manuscripts
The Book of Durrow
The Lindisfarne Gospels and the Codex Amiatinus
The Book of Kells
Box 3.4 Medieval Goes Pop: The Secret of Kells
Conclusions and Questions for Discussion
Cross-Temporal Exploration: Materiality throughout the Middle Ages
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER FOUR Images and Empires: 750-900
Box 4.1 Thinkers: Appropriation
Box 4.2 What's in a Name? The Carolingian Renaissance
Recreating Imperial Tradition
Charlemagne's Palace Chapel
The Godescalc Gospel Lectionary
A Carolingian Ivory Book Cover
The First Bible of Charles the Bald
An Equestrian Sculpture
Crystal Objects and Royal Patronage
Iconoclasm in the Byzantine Empire and the Carolingian Response
Box 4.3 Period Text: Theodulf of Orl?ans, Opus Caroli regis
Theodulf's Oratory in Germigny-des-Pr?s, France
The End of Iconoclasm in Byzantium
Box 4.4 Medieval Goes Pop: Appropriation
Building Monastic Traditions
The Monastery of Saint-Riquier
Abbey Church at Corvey
The Plan of St. Gall
Monastic Manuscripts: The Ebbo Gospels and the Utrecht Psalter
Islam and Christianity in Spain: The Great Mosque of C?rdoba
Before the Mosque: The Church of St. Vincent
The Construction of the Mosque
The 10th-Century Mihrab and Later Changes to the Mosque
Conclusions and Questions for Discussion
Cross-Temporal Explorations: Appropriation Across the Middle Ages
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER FIVE Encounters and Exchanges: 900-1030
Box 5.1 Thinkers: Race and Medieval Studies
Box 5.2 What's in a name? Mozarabic
Connections: Art on the Move
The Cuerdale Hoard
Box 5.3 Medieval Goes Pop: Vikings on the Screen
Byzantine Ivories
Leire/Pamplona Casket
Magdeburg ivories
Conversions, Conflicts, and Co-existence
The Holy Lance
The Jelling Stones
Box 5.4 Period Text: Hallfre?r ?ttarsson, Poem on Conversion to Christianity
San Miguel de Escalada
Beatus Apocalypse Manuscripts
Power and Alterity
The Marriage Charter of Theophanu
The Lothar Cross
St. Michael's of Hildesheim
Bernward's Bronze Doors
Muiredach's cross
Bodies and Difference
Gero Crucifix
Fresco of Bishop Petros from Pachoras, Nubia
Gospels of Otto III
Menologion of Basil II
The Wonders of the East
Conclusions and Questions for Discussion
Cross-Temporal Explorations: Encounters and Exchanges throughout the Middle Ages
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER SIX Nature and Landscape: 1030-1140
Box 6.1 Thinkers: Ecocriticism
Box 6.2 What's in a Name? Romanesque
Maps, Architecture, and Claiming Land
The Cotton World Map
The Bayeux Embroidery
Durham Cathedral
Palatine Chapel, Palermo
Khachkar from Armenia
Nature in the Earthly City
Montecassino and Sant'Angelo in Formis
The Monastery in Daphni, Greece
San Clemente in Rome
Heavenly City in Nature
Christianization of Stone worship at Monteneuf
Monsters at Church-Sheela Na-Gigs and a Capital from Chauvigny
Cistercian Manuscripts and Toiling the Earth
Box 6.3 Period text: Bernard of Clairvaux, Apology
Marvelous Materials in the Sanctuary
Herriman and Ida Cross
The Portable Altar of Roger of Helmarshausen
Ivory Plaque of St. Aemilian
The Landscape of Pilgrimage and Crusade
Santiago de Compostela: Pilgrimage and Geopolitical Landscapes
Box 6.4 Medieval Goes Pop: Virtual Pilgrimage and Eco-Tourism in the 21st Century
Cluny III: Monasticism and Pilgrimage
Autun Cathedral: Building Pilgrimage
Abbey of Mary Magdalene in V?zelay: Pilgrimage and Crusade
Conclusions and Questions for Discussion
Cross-Temporal Explorations: Nature and Landscape Throughout the Middle Ages
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER SEVEN Crusade and Conquest: 1140-1230
Box 7.1 Thinkers: Postcolonialism
Box 7.2 What's in a Name? Geographic and Religious Identities The Holy Land and Queen Melisende
The Melisende Psalter
The Holy Sepulcher
The Tomb of the Virgin Mary
Box 7.3 Medieval goes Pop: Kingdom of Heaven
Hisn al-Akrad (Krak des Chevaliers)
Relocating the Holy Land
Abbot Suger and St. Denis
Box 7.4 Period Text: Abbot Suger, De Administratione (On What was Done During His Administration)
Lalibela, Ethiopia
San Marco in Venice
Reliquaries and Manuscripts in the Holy Roman Empire
The Stavelot Triptych
The Shrine of the Three Kings
Hildegard of Bingen's Scivias
Herrad of Hohenberg's Hortus Deliciarum
Courtly and Crusading Imagery
The Troubadour Casket
Modena Cathedral
Itinerant Holy Land and the Cult of the Virgin Mary at Chartres Cathedral
Chartres and the Cult of the Virgin
Chartres's Royal Portal
The Labyrinth at Chartres
Conclusions and Questions for Discussion
Cross-Temporal Exploration: Post-Colonialism
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER EIGHT Narrative and Devotion: 1230-1320
Box 8.1 Thinkers: Narrative Theory
Box 8.2 What's in a Name? Gothic
Mapping Narrative: Space and Time
Narrative in the Cathedral
Chartres Cathedral-Architecture and Stained Glass
The Jub? of Chartres Cathedral
Naumburg Cathedral
Reims Cathedral
Box 8.3 Medieval Goes Pop: Medieval Times
Narratives in Devotional Spaces
The Regensburg Pentateuch
St. Maurice at Magdeburg Cathedral
Nicola Pisano, Siena Cathedral Pulpit
Norwich Cathedral Cloister
Franciscan Narratives
Box 8.4 Period Text: Thomas of Celano, First Life of St. Francis
Bonaventura Berlinghieri's Altarpiece of St. Francis
San Francesco, Assisi
Cimabue's Crucifixion
Narratives for Nobility and the Wealthy
Cantigas de Santa Maria
The Douce Apocalypse
Sainte Chapelle, Paris
The Arena Chapel, Padua
Conclusions and Questions for Discussion
Cross-Temporal Exploration: Narrative
Selected Bibliography

CHAPTER NINE Identity and Performance: 1320-1450
Box 9.1 Thinkers: Queer Theory
Domesticating Devotion
The Hours of Jeanne D'Evreux
The Tr?s Riches Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry
The Hours of Catherine of Cleeves
The Golden Haggadah
Objects of Medieval Love
Box 9.2 Period Text: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
Ivory Mirror Back
An Ivory Comb
Box 9.3 Medieval Goes Pop: Modern RomComs (Romantic Comedies)
Women on Top: Aristotle and Phyllis and a Bawdy Badge
Celebrating Birth
Salvation, Illness, and Healing
The Facade of Orvieto Cathedral
The Triumph of Death at the Camposanto in Pisa
The Strozzi Chapel
Opicinis de Canistris
A Medical Manuscript
Devotion and Intimacy
The Wound of Christ
The Man of Sorrows
The Rohan Book of Hours
Sculpture of Christ and St. John the Evangelist
Shrine Madonna
The St. Wenceslas Chapel in Prague
Box 9.4 What's in a name: The End of the Middle Ages?
Conclusions and Questions for Discussion
Cross-Temporal Themes: Gender and Queer Identity throughout the Middle Ages
Selected Bibliography


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