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HA4324 Antiquity and Innovation in Early Medieval Art

Antiquity and Innovation in Early Medieval Art

Module Organiser: Dr Rachel Moss
Duration of the Module: Michaelmas semester
Contact Hours: 2 lectures pw, and 1 seminar per fortnight
Weighting: 10 ECTS

The reign of King, later Emperor, Charlemagne (768–814) marked a flourishing of the visual arts that had not been seen since the fall of the Roman Empire. Often styled the ‘Carolingian Renaissance’, the artistic culture of the period was characterised by a politically-motivated evocation of the classical past, fused with elements of existing art styles and innovation in areas such as monastic planning and the commission of new types of fine metalwork and illuminated manuscript. This module aims to introduce students to key works of art and architecture in Western Europe during the period c. 600 – c. 900. It will examine the development of distinctive artistic traditions leading up to the reign of Charlemagne (including that of Ireland and its cultural sphere), the forging of the unique characteristics of Carolingian art during the King/Emperor’s supremacy, and its legacy both within the Carolingian Empire and beyond.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and explain major trends in style and artistic creation at different times and geographical centres throughout the period
  • Explain the function and meaning of a various forms of art and architecture in different cultural contexts over the period
  • Display an understanding of the manner in which historical circumstances influenced the character of art and architecture in the period
  • Use appropriate terminology, concepts and approaches in the analysis of representative works of the period
  • Combine visual analysis with historical appraisal in response to specific questions in both written and oral presentations

Last updated 12 September 2013