In this tutorial, students will investigate the rich artistic consequences — in architecture, manuscript illumination, mosaic, sculpture, panel painting, fresco, metalwork, and other minor arts — of European contact with the Eastern Mediterranean between approximately 300 and 1450 CE. From the beginnings of Christianity, pilgrims from Europe made the long journey to sacred sites in the Holy Land (extending across parts of present-day Egypt, Israel, Syria, and Turkey). When these sites became less accessible with the spread of Islam in the seventh century, Europeans sought to recreate the sites at home. Later, from 1095 onward, Christian Europeans attempted to reclaim and hold the Holy Land from non-Christians by force, through an ill-fated series of five major and several lesser “crusades.” Over the centuries, before, during, and after the Crusades, exposure to the peoples, ideas, and cultures of the Eastern Mediterranean also came through trade and through the travel and settlement of non-Europeans in Europe itself, particularly in Spain, Sicily, and Venice. Together, through open discussion, we will explore artistic production within each of these different cross-cultural contexts of East-West encounter. In the process, we will reflect on how art could function as a conduit for the exchange of ideas in the Middle Ages, and how it could be used both to negotiate and to intensify cultural difference.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
participation in discussion; five 5-7-page tutorial papers (one of which will be revised as a final writing assignment); five 1-2-page response papers
First- and second-year students, but open to all
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
In this tutorial, students will develop skills of critical reading and focus on how to craft clear and persuasive arguments of their own. To help them achieve these goals, they will receive timely comments on their written work, especially the five 5-7-page papers they will submit, with suggestions for improvement.
ARTH pre-1800 Courses