Gothic Church Artwork: Stained Glass and Sculpture
What you'll learn
- Students will learn the key developments, vocabulary terms, and works of art which are associated with Gothic stained glass and sculpture.
- Students will learn about a variety of mediums, from glass to stone, that were used in Gothic artwork.
- What is "Gothic" anyway? This course covers the origin of the term and how it came to be used to describe this period's artwork.
- Evolution in three-dimensional and novel art forms like stained glass are charted through the High Middle Ages.
- An interest in history and a love of art are the only prerequisites for this course.
The Gothic Cathedral were repositories for virtually every art form which Medieval culture produced; just as the buildings themselves were an art form, so too were the images created for them. The works of art covered in this course express a new set of theological and philosophical ideas which at the same time reached as high to the heavens as its engineers were capable and at the same time replaced stone with colored glass which filtered the sacred light of the sun, the holy lumen for Scholastic theologians. Stone sculpture and precious sculpture were products of the goldsmith’s arts and often inlaid with ivory and enamel. The Gothic style brought with it a marked "softening" in the images of authority and devotion; whether these were royal images of religious, their functions and images became identical. At the same time, a greater recovery of Greco-Roman Classical conventions in art occurred. We can see this in Gothic sculpture's emerging from reliefs to the round, the distribution of weight in the distinctive Gothic S-curve and the first glimmers of contrapposto, and an unprecedented degree of individualism which approaches portraiture.
Already in the stained glass and sculpture of the High Middle Ages, we see signs of the great sea-changes which will define the subsequent era of history, the Renaissance. We must beware of drawing a line between “Medieval” and “Renaissance” however even for its most basic characteristics. Instead, keeping these precocious examples in mind, we can chart a more nuanced approach to artistic influences and developments in the dynamic environment of the European Middle Ages.
Who this course is for:
- High school, university, and graduate students will find both a review of key pieces and developments as well as original research and connections which are exclusive to this course.
Dr. Lily Filson has held the title of Assistant Professor for both private as well as state universities in the United States. She received her Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Formative Sciences and her M.A. in Italian Renaissance Art History; her educational fellowships include a European Research Council Grant Fellowship at the Universita' Ca Foscari in Venice, Italy, the Katerina Duskova Memorial Fellowship from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and the Syracuse University Florence Fellowship. She has more recently won a Short-Term Grant from the Renaissance Society of America and a Research Award from the University of Oxford.
Her studies and career have brought her into contact with numerous artworks and sites that go beyond traditional art history survey courses; her lectures feature unique content and fresh perspectives on the greatest story ever told: why and how art is made and how we relate to it over time. She brings first-hand experience and a warm delivery style to her video lectures which bring ancient artworks to life.