More medieval body parts!

First, a bit of levity:

Some thoughts to get the conversation started: 1. Why were relics so important in the Middle Ages? 2. Were contact relics as effective as body parts? 3. What is the relationship between the container and the contents in body-part reliquaries and does it shift over time? 4. Have you ever seen a relic? If so, what was the context and what was the effect of this experience?

The vierge ouvrante is one of the most interesting categories of sculpture produced in the Middle Ages. 1. Why does the author stress the importance of both the haptic and optic dimensions of the worshiper’s experience of this sculpture? 2. In what way is the Virgin the door for Christ and for the saved through his sacrifice? 3. What are the theological implications of lodging the whole Trinity within the Virgin’s womb? 4. In the narrative interiors of the vierge ouvrante, what subject matter was found and how was it disposed? 5. What are some of the differences in types of sculpture north and south of the Pyrenees? 6. What is the symbolic meaning of the doors that open the womb of the Virgin and how does the statue’s capacity to move affect the viewer’s experience? 7. What is the paradox embodied by the vierge ouvrante? What occurs in her corporeal erasure?


Questions about Heaven and Hell and other Weighty Matters!

Alexis and Maria will be our guides for tomorrow’s class, but here are just a few questions to think about for our discussion.
In the tympanum at Conques, do you agree with the author’s reading of the facial expressions of the damned? Isn’t it interesting to think about our expressions and gestures as culturally contingent?! In what way was Augustine’s conception of hell different from other Early Christian Church Fathers? How did the Byzantine notion of the Resurrection differ from that of the West? Did the sketch of Ste.-Foi’s actions surprise you? Does the restraint of the elect at Conques weaken the author’s theory of attunement with the damned?

In the construction of sanctity, what role does architecture play? What role does the shrine play in devotion? What does the author mean by the “voice or tone of the shrine”? What “conspires” at Golgotha to make the religious experience so powerful? What role do the ampullae of holy oil play in the pilgrims’ experience of the sacred? What function did the icon fulfill in the Eastern shrine? What guided the medieval viewer in his devotions? In other words, was there a “proper form” of worship of these images? West versus East: discuss! When Hahn says that the shrines (or the saint’s presence therein) join the past and the present, how do they also join the devotee to the Heavenly Jerusalem?

Art of the Middle Ages

I will take a backseat to our discussion leaders, but here are just a few queries to get the ball started!
1. According to Kingsley, what is the connection between gift giving and memory in the Middle Ages?
2. What are some of the ideas we discussed in the bronze doors at Hildesheim reflected in the frontispiece of the Bernward Gospels?
3. In what ways is Mary the door to Paradise?
4. Think of any one of the images “deconstructed” in this article (the curtain, for example) and explain how it functions as a mnemonic device.
5. What do all of Bernward’s gifts signify? What are the fate of these gifts after Bernward’s death?
In the article on portraiture:
1. Why wasn’t mimetic likeness as important in the Middle Ages as it was in the Renaissance?
2. What was the significance of The Secret of Secrets? The lesson learned from Hippocrates’ physiognomy?
3. How did medieval authors speak about portraits? Why do you think they had a devotional quality that almost rivaled religious images?
4. What were some of the “alternative” methods of portraiture in the medieval period? (We now know where “worth his weight in gold” comes from….) Does mimetic likeness replace heraldic codes of identity?
5. Can you draw any parallels between Bernward and Christine de Pizan and Isabeau of Bavaria?

Monument List II

Early Medieval Art in the West:

The alternative tradition—Northern art 500-800
Sutton Hoo Ship Burial
Jouarre crypt
Crown of Recceswinth
Tara brooch
Gospels of St. Augustine (St. Luke)
Gelasium Sacramentary

Gellone Sacramentary (Crucifixion)
Hiberno-Saxon “Renaissance”: Ruthwell Cross
Book of Durrow
Lindisfarne Gospels (cf. Codex Amiatinus)
Book of Kells

Codex Aureus of Canterbury
Charlemagne and the Revival of the Roman Empire (768-814):
Centula, St. Riquier
Aachen, Palatine Chapel
Plan of St. Gall
Torhalle of Lorsch
Court School of Manuscripts: Godescalc Gospels
Gospels of St. Medard of Soissons
Palace School of Manuscripts: Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne
Aachen Gospels
The Carolingians (814-900):
Louis the Pious (814-840) and the Reims School of Manuscripts:
Ebbo Gospels
Utrecht Psalter
Charles the Bald (840-877) and the Tours School of Manuscripts:
Moutier-Grandval Bible
Vivian Bible
Golden Gospels of St. Emmeram (School????)
The 2nd. Lindau Gospel covers

Ottonian Art c. 1000
Master of the Registrum Gregorii
Egbert Codex
Gospels of Otto III (Aachen and Munich)
Pericopes of Henry II (Reichenau School)
Hitda Codex (Cologne School)

St. Michael at Hildesheim
Speyer Cathedral (plan)
St. Michael, Hildesheim, Bronze doors of Bishop Bernward
Bronze column of Bernward
Gero Crucifix
Ste. Foy, Conques

Romanesque Art
“Deformed Comeliness, Comely Deformity”: Romanesque Sculpture
St. Sernin, Toulouse, ambulatory reliefs and Porte Miegeville
Bernard Gelduinus
Cf. Santiago da Compostela, Puerta de las Platerias
Moissac cloister and Moissac, south portal
Cluny III, hemicycle capitals
Autun, west facade and capitals
“Giselbertus hoc fecit.”
Vezelay, La Madeleine
Romanesque Architecture and the Quest for Monumentality:
St. Sernin, Toulouse
Ste.-Foy, Conques
Cluny III
Caen, St. Etienne and Ste. Trinite
Romanesque Painting, Methods of Narration and the Artist:
The Beatus Apocalypses
St.-Savin-sur-Gartempe frescoes
Berze-la-Ville frescoes
Bayeux Tapestry

Monument List I

Art 202   Selected Medieval Monument Study Guide  D.  Sadler



Domus Ecclesiae, Dura Europos  231  Christian Meeting House

Baptistery (Yale) and frescoes from Synagogue thereof

Rome, Catacombs

meeting house/titulus


Catacombs:      Coemeterium Maius, Christ as Good Shepherd, 3rd c.

                  Priscilla, Christ as Good Shepherd

                  Callisto (Callixtus), Eucharistic Fish and Bread, 3rd. c.

                  Priscilla, Donna Velata, 3rd.c.

                  Priscilla, Three Hebrews in Fiery Furnace

                  Priscilla, Mother and Child

Peter and Marcellinus:  Agape Meal, Noah and the Ark, Susanna and

                  the Elders, late 3rd.c.

Jonah marble statues from Asia Minor, 3rd. c., Cleveland Museum of Art

Sarcophogai:  Good Shepherd sarcophagus, Lateran Museum 4thc.

                  Jonah sarcophagus, late 3rdc.

                  Junius Bassus sarcophagus, Vatican, 359

                  Sarcophagus from S. Maria Antiqua, 3rd. c.

Christ/Helios from Mausoleum of Julii, mosaic, 3rd. c.

Palace of Diocletian, Split, Yugoslavia (peristyle court, fastigium)

The Age of Constantine: 

         Rome, St. John’s in the Lateran (S. Giovanni Laterano, c. 320)

         Rome, Old St. Peter’s c. 324-330

         Rome, St. Paul’s outside the walls

         Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity

         Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre c. 325-326

         Rome, Sta. Costanza c. 350

Tetrarchs c. 305

Bust of Constantine

Triumphal Arch of Constantine c. 312

Obelisk of Theodosius c. 390 (Constantinople)

Missorium of Theodosius c. 388


         Brescia Casket c. 370

         Diptych of Symmachus

         Poet and Muse, c. 500

         Consular diptych of Anastasius c. 517

         Guards and Women at the Tomb of Christ, Milan ivory c. 400

         Barberini Ivory—Anastasius or Justinian?

         Archangel Michael c. 519

         Throne of Maximian, ivory over wood, 545-553


Manuscripts:  (roll and codex)

         Quedlinburg Itala fragment

         Vatican Virgil, Georgics, Sack of Troy

         Roman Virgil, Ecologues, Georgics

         Vienna Dioscurides, De Materia medica 512, Anicia Juliana, portrait of Dioscurides, portrait of the 7 physicians, portrait of author & artist at work

         Vienna Genesis, Rebecca and Eliezar at the Well, Temptation of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, Jacob vs. the angel…

         Rossano Gospels, St. Mark, Raising of Lazarus, Christ before Pilate

         Rabbula Gospels, Canon Tables, Ascension, Crucifixion, and Pentecost (586)

5th century Rome:

         S. Maria Maggiore, 432-440, mosaics—Stoning of Moses, Crossing the Red Sea, the Parting of Lot and Abraham, Infancy of Christ, etc.

         S. Sabina, 422-432, wood doors!

Ravenna:           Mausoleum of Galla Placidia c. 425-450

                  Baptistery of the Orthodox, c. 475

                  Arian Baptistery

The Age of Justinian:

                  S. Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna, male and female martyrs and miracles and Passion of Christ (Holy Women at the Tomb), 556-565

                  S. Apollinare in Classe, Ravenna, 549  The Transfiguration

                  S. Vitale, Ravenna, 527-548 (Justinian, Theodora, Maximian)

Constantinople:          Hagia Sophia, 532-537

                           SS. Sergius and Bacchus

Cool Medieval Blogs

Burnable BooksBurnable Books
See you in Reykjavik? New Chaucer Society 2014 Call for Papers

Fie Upon This Quiet Life: I Want Work
Random thoughts in paragraph form

In the Middle
Having to Stretch, Having Room: A Voyage of Brendan Lesson

Fugelso reviews Resonances: Historical Essays on Continuity and Change

Beyond Borders
Material and Meaning: Umbrian Verres Églomisés

The Heroic Age
FIEC Congress

Modern Medieval
Our own Orientalism: Why Medievalists are Complicit when Manuscripts Burn and Ruins Crumble

Listening to the Book: Medieval Music Manuscripts

Medieval Illumination
Volvelles, star maps and lunar atlas

Material Collective
The Doge and I

The Adventures of Notorious Ph.D., Girl Scholar
Why I’m Never Lecturing on the Norman Conquest Again (an accidental defense of the lecture format)

In Romaunce as We Rede . . .
Mischief Managed, Part the First

Blue Humanities Blog – Thalassology, Shakespeare, and Swimming.
Internal Waves off Trinidad

Oneportaltown’s Blog
Mme. de Pompadour as Patron of the arts!

Fluid Imaginings
Stay Tuned for 2013

Literally falling down a flight of stairs

Mostly Medieval:Images and Reflections

Vaulting and Vellum
Pedagogy, Bias, and an Entirely Unrelated Amusing Internet Video

Got Medieval
Medieval Batman Cosplay Worth the Click-Through

Le Prof & La Potiche
A winner, and a farewell…..

Bacchanal in the Library

Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog
A Long Tyme Agoon in a Shire Far Away

Postcolonising the Medieval Image
Looking forward …

The Roving Medievalist
St. Lorenz, Nuremberg

Digital Medievalist

Medieval Articles to be Read!

Medieval Articles to be Presented:
• Rethinking the Origins of Portraiture Rethinking the Origins of Portraiture
Stephen Perkinson
Gesta, Vol. 46, No. 2, Contemporary Approaches to the Medieval Face (2007), pp. 135-157
Page Scan Article PDF Article Summary
• Picturing the Treasury: The Power of Objects and the Art of Memory in the Bernward Gospels Picturing the Treasury: The Power of Objects and the Art of Memory in the Bernward Gospels
Gesta, Vol. 50, No. 1 (2011), pp. 19-39
• Attunement to the Damned of the Conques Tympanum Attunement to the Damned of the Conques Tympanum
Gesta, Vol. 50, No. 1 (2011), pp. 1-17
Seeing and Believing: The Construction of Sanctity in Early-Medieval Saints’ Shrines Seeing and Believing: The Construction of Sanctity in Early-Medieval Saints’ Shrines
Cynthia Hahn
Speculum, Vol. 72, No. 4 (Oct., 1997), pp. 1079-1106
Page Scan Article PDF Article Summary
• Body-Part Reliquaries and Body Parts in the Middle Ages
Caroline Walker Bynum, Paula Gerson
Gesta, Vol. 36, No. 1 (1997), pp. 3-7
Page Scan Article PDF Article Summary
• Behind Closed Doors: Distributed Bodies, Hidden Interiors, and Corporeal Erasure in “Vierge ouvrante” Sculpture Behind Closed Doors: Distributed Bodies, Hidden Interiors, and Corporeal Erasure in “Vierge ouvrante” Sculpture
Melissa R. Katz
RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, No. 55/56, Absconding (Spring – Autumn, 2009), pp. 194-221
Page Scan Article PDF Article Summary

Syllabus for Medieval Art

Art 202 The Middle Ages: Images and Ideas Spring 2013
Dr. D. Sadler MW 2-3:15 Dana 101
Office: Dana 109 ext. 6245
Office Hours: W: 3:30-5 or by appointment!
Required texts: Lawrence Nees, Early Medieval Art, Oxford, 2002 and Marilyn Stokstad, Medieval Art, 2nd edition, Westview Press, 2004

Course Objectives and Requirements: This course will survey the history of Medieval art and architecture from its Early Christian beginnings c. 250 to the end of the Gothic period c. 1400. Particular emphasis will be placed on the development of Christian imagery and architectural forms, as well as the functions of art throughout the Middle Ages. Not only will we explore questions of patronage in such courts as those of Constantine, Justinian, Charlemagne, and Louis IX, but we shall also pursue the notion of audience reception. Who were the viewers of medieval art? Did medieval art acknowledge a dialectic with its specific audiences? Finally, we will focus upon the church building as a total work of art, one that integrates sculpture and painting with architecture, questioning the usual assumptions of the hierarchy of media. By considering objects of art in relation to their religious, political, and economic context, as well as the technological changes that occurred in contemporary society, a more sophisticated view of the Middle Ages will emerge. We will also address some of the theoretical issues influencing the interpretation of Medieval art; for example, how are medieval monuments viewed from feminist, marxist and psychoanalytical, and postmodern perspectives? Did the period under examination have an art for art’s sake? When did the artist as we know “him” come into being?

Attendance, both physical and mental, is required. The attendance policy reflects the importance of the content of this course—it is the reason we are here! One is allowed a total of 3 absences for the entire semester. If you surpass that limit, you will need documentation from medical personel, etc. justifying your absence. Your grade will be lowered 1/3 of a letter from the 4th absence, and continue to decline accordingly. Remember to sign the attendance sheet each class period as this will be the sole record of your presence in the class—as well as your brilliant comments.


• 2 Exams: Exam I : 25%
Exam II: 25%
• 1 Article Presentation: 15%
• 1 Paper 20%
• Class Participation 5%

The format of the exams is a series of slide identifications, short answers and essays. The presentations consist of leading a discussion on an article from a scholarly journal on a topic that you select. You will present a Power Point on the article and offer a critical analysis of the author’s ideas. In addition, posting questions about the article on Moodle will help prepare your peers for your enlightened overview. The paper will be a short research project of 7-10 pages in length about a subject that again you find of special interest. It may be a thematic study, an investigation of one object or family of objects, a comparative study, or the exploration of portraiture, narrative, the depiction of the Virgin during a certain historical period. More information about this assignment will follow. Finally, the small size of this class permits us to have a dialogue about the works we study and your participation is vital to the ethos of the class!

Moodle: Be sure to check Moodle frequently for any changes or breaking news in Art 202!

Disability Services: If you have a disability that may have some impact on your work in this class and for which you may require accommodations, please see Kelly Deasy in the Office of Academic Advising and Student Disability Services to register for these services. Students that receive accommodation checklists, please meet with me to discuss the provisions of those accommodations as soon as possible.

Course Evaluations: Near the end of the semester you will be notified by e-mail and provided with a link to follow to complete course evaluations online outside of class. Your feedback is extremely valuable to me, the department, and the administration. With the help of your insightful comments, I will be able to improve the course the next time I teach it.

Academic Integrity: It is expected that all students will abide by the policies of the Honor Code. Students who violate these policies through plagaiarism, collaboration on projects without permission, submitting the same work for multiple classes, and any other infractions outlined in the Honor Code will be asked to turn themselves in to the Honor Council. If you have any questions about academic integrity, please speak with me.


Week of January 14: Introduction to the Middle Ages: the Clash of gods?
Reading: Stokstad, ch. 1; Nees, Introduction and ch. 1

Week of January 21: Art of the Triumphant Christian Church
Reading: Stokstad, ch. 2; Nees, ch. 2

Week of January 28: The Decoration of the Early Christian Church: the Spread of Christianity!
Reading: Stokstad, ch. 3; Nees, ch. 3
Article presentation:
The Crucifixion Conundrum and the Santa Sabina Doors
Allyson Everingham Sheckler and Mary Joan Winn Leith
The Harvard Theological Review , Vol. 103, No. 1 (Jan., 2010), pp. 67-88

Week of February 8: When in Constantinople….
Reading: Nees, ch. 4-5

Week of February 11: East meets West…
Reading: Nees, ch. 6.
Article Presentations

Week of February 18: Icons and Iconoclasm
Reading: Nees, ch. 7
Article Presentations

Week of February 25: Ah, it’s good to be a Barbarian…..Hiberno-Saxon Art
Reading: Stokstad, ch. 4; Nees, ch. 8-9.
Exam I

Week of March 4: Art of the Carolingian Empire
Reading: Stokstad, ch. 5; Nees, ch. 10
Article Presentations

Week of March 11: : Spring Break

Cultural Confluence of Byzantium and Islam Reading: Stokstad, ch. 6
Article Presentations

Week of March 18: Cultural Confluence of Byzantium and Islam and
Ottonian Art: Gateway to the Romanesque
Reading: Stokstad, ch. 6 & 7; Nees, ch. 11

Week of March 25: Art of the Pilgrimage Roads
Reading: Stokstad, ch. 8 and excerpt from Meyer Schapiro, Selected Papers, pp. 131-264; Nees, ch. 12 and conclusion

Week of April 1: Romancing the Stone: Problems in Romanesque art and architecture
Class discussion

Week of April 8: The Origins of Gothic Art Reading: Stokstad, ch. 9
Short Research Papers due!!

Week of April 15: High Gothic Art in France & the Rise of Regional Styles…What does “mature” Gothic mean???
The Gothic Cathedral as Vehicle for Meaning?
Reading: Stokstad, ch. 10

Week of April 22: Opus Francigenum Abroad….
Reading: Stokstad, ch. 11

Week of April 29: Last Gothic Gasp
That is, Late Gothic Art
Reading: Stokstad, ch. 12
Final Exam!!


N7832.B3 J. Beckwith, Early Christian and Byzantine Art

N5970.B4 J. Beckwith, Early Medieval Art

NA440.B68 R. Branner, Gothic Architecture

NA365.C6 J. K. Conant, Carolingian and Romanesque Architecture

NA3780 O. Demus, Byzantine Mosaic Decoration
D39 1976

N6310 F. Deuchler, Gothic Art

ND140.D63 C. R. Dodwell, Painting in Europe 800-1200

N6280 H. Focillon, Art of the West:
F613 Romanesque and Gothic (2 volumes)

N7832 A. Grabar, Christian Iconography: AStudy of its Origins

N6250 A. Grabar, The Golden Age of Justinian from the Death of
G6713 Theodosius to the Rise of Islam

Folio ND140 A. Grabar and Nordenfalk, Early Medieval Painting

Folio N6245 Hubert, Porcher & Volbach, The Carolingian Renaissance

H813 Hubert, Porcher & Volbach, Europe of the Invasions
Folio N7832
H813 1969

NA453.J23 1962 H. Jantzen, High Gothic

N5970 K55 E. Kitzinger, Early Medieval Art

NA360.K7 R. Krautheimer, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture

N5940K713 R. Krautheimer, “The Carolingian Revival of Early Christian Architecture,” in Studies in Early Christian, Medieval and Renaissance Architecture, 1969, pp. 203-237 and 254-255

N6245.L37 P. Lasko, Ars Sacra 800-1200

N5760.L613 H. l’Orange, Art Forms and Civic Life in the Late Roman Empire

NA630.M3 W. MacDonald, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture

N6250.M25 C. Mango, Art of the Byzantine Empire

NA440P23 1957 E. Panofsky, Gothic Architecture and Scholasticism

N6250 R463 D. T. Rice, Art of the Byzantine Era

NB175.S28 M. Schapiro, Selected Papers on Romanesque Art

NA4830.55 O. von Simson, The Gothic Cathedral

Folio N5340A35 K. Weitzmann, The Age of Spirituality

Folio N5970 G. Zarnecki, Art of the Medieval World
Z37 1975B