Religious Art Centers: Rome, Paris, Vienna

Course Description: 

The great religious centers of medieval Europe also functioned as hubs of artistic creativity. The Early Christian basilicas of Rome served as prototypes of religious art through the subsequent centuries. Rome itself played an important role in the Carolingian and the 12th Century Renaissances. The significance of Rome culminated in the year 1300, the first Holy Year and its artistic context. Nevertheless, Paris took over the role of artistic center of Europe with the emergence of Gothic art and architecture. By the end of the Middle Ages, the Habsburgs transformed their own residential town, Vienna to the new cultural center of the Holy Roman Empire in which religious art played an essential role. This course will discuss religious architecture and iconography through the artistic periods from Early Christianity to the Renaissance. 

Learning Outcomes: 

Through participating in class discussions and course assignments, students completing this course will be able to
• describe, analyze, and contextualize religious art and architecture
• incorporate religious art as a visual source in their own research in an informed, interdisciplinary way
• critically reflect upon different theories and methods of explanation and interpretation of religious art
• construct art historical narratives containing sustained and systematic analyses of examples of medieval religious art and architecture in all their complexity (style, type, design, space) and different contexts of making and viewing.


A) oral presentation of one of the highlights of medieval religious art in 10 minutes (40%);

B) term paper on the given subject OR written exam as discussed individually (60%).