Week 1: After Rome: Christianity and the end of the Classical World c. 400 AD-550 AD.
Christian art largely rejected the Classical tradition and succeeded in creating a new artistic style through an innovative symbolism that represented Christianity’s supernatural concerns and ideals, including its “other-worldly” belief that God, not humanity, is “the measure of all things.
Week 2: The Time of chaos and decline (c. 550 AD - 850AD)
With rare exceptions this period merited the title ‘The Dark Ages”. The art of the Barbarians, the early Christian monastic tradition, the Carolingian Empire, and the embattled Byzantine Empire will be compared.
Week 3: The Medieval-Romanesque West and the Byzantine East (c. 850 AD–1100)
Although the Byzantine style largely triumphed over the Carolingian in pictorial representation, even in Western Europe, there were still important differences in architecture and sculpture, making for difference in the look of art in Western and Eastern Europe. A revived Byzantine Empire and a more stable West saw a rebirth of painting, sculpture, and monumental architecture.
Week 4: The Medieval–Gothic Period in the West (1100–1400)
Gothic artists revived some of the humanistic elements of the Classical tradition, combining these with the other-worldly elements of the Romanesque to create a style that synthesized both the Classical and the Christian traditions. They also developed new forms, such as Gothic arches and stained-glass windows.
Week 5: Medieval Russia and the art of the last Byzantine diffusion (1300-1700)
As the Byzantine Empire went into terminal political decline, its religious and cultural diffusion continued unabated. Russia and neighboring areas became the repository for the developing art of Eastern Europe.
Week 6: Towards the Italian Renaissance (1400–1500)
The Italian Renaissance marks the Classical tradition’s rebirth and the rejection of the Medieval tradition, particularly the Romanesque. Renaissance artists attempted to revive the Classical past as the model for present life and art. We will focus on the art of this audacious attempt as it gradually severed the ties it had with the art of the late Gothic period.