ARTH 422 Spring 2014 Making the Stones Speak: The Emergence and Development Of the Romanesque Sculpted Portal

Beginning around the year 1000, European Christendom experienced a great ecclesiastical building boom. According to a contemporary chronicler, "it was as if the whole earth, having cast off the old by shaking itself, were clothing itself everywhere in the white robe of the church." During the course of the eleventh century, the designers of these structures fashioned a new architectural language that we now label "Romanesque." One of the most innovative and dramatic aspects of this new language was its assimilation of monumental sculpture, absent in Europe since the fifth century. The focus of attention in this regard was the portal, which marked the threshold between the profane realm of the outside world and the sacred space of the church. This seminar will investigate the antecedents and origins of the Romanesque sculpted portal and examine in detail its greatest manifestations. Emphasis will be placed on understanding these often complex sculptural schemes within their original functional and physical contexts. What role did this imagery play in structuring the medieval visitor's overall experience of the church? And what did it mean to have this imagery carved into the very fabric of "God's temple"?
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: class discussion, class presentation, 15- to 20-page research paper
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Prerequisites: ARTH 101-102 or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preference: Art majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division I
Other Attributes: ARTH pre-1400 Courses,ARTH pre-1800 Courses
Enrollment Limit: 14
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Class Number: 3344
CLASSES ATTR INSTRUCTORS TIMES CLASS NUMBER
ARTH422-01(S) SEM Romanesque Sculpted Portal Division 1: Languages and the Arts Peter D. Low
F 1:10 PM-3:50 PM Lawrence 002 3344
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