Areas of Study

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Medieval Art History Classes

Please note that not all courses are offered every semester. This listing is not considered authoritative. Please visit Access.SMU for authoritative course offerings including meeting times, professor, and more.

ARHS 3320: Medieval Art
An introduction to the art of Byzantium, Islam and the medieval West through study of five genres to which each of these cultures made distinctive contributions: the congregational worship space, imaging the sacred word, the court and its objects, the pilgrimage site, and the urban religious complex. 

ARHS 3321: Age of the Crusades
Looks at the art of the various Christian cultures that were swept into the Crusades – especially the northern European, Italian, Byzantine and Armenian – and examines both the changes and the interchanges that characterize the period between 1096 and 1291. 

ARHS 3322: Art and the Italian
Commune The interplay of artistic styles, workshop practice, religious change and political controversy in the century between St. Francis and the Black Death, emphasizing the art of the Pisani, Cimabue, Cavallini, Giotto, Duccio and the Lorenzetti. 

ARHS 3324: Art and Cultures of Medieval Spain
Considers the art and architecture of the Iberian Peninsula within its highly diverse cultural context. Hispano-Roman, Visigothic, Romanesque, Gothic, Jewish and Islamic examples will be highlighted. Classroom lectures will be supplemented by direct study of works in the Meadows Museum. 

ARHS 3325: The Gothic Cathedral
The social and spiritual centerpiece of medieval European life, the Gothic cathedral was also one of the greatest multimedia creations of its age. This lecture course uses the cathedral as a springing point for the investigation of the rich architectural and artistic traditions of the high and late Middle Ages in Europe. 

ARHS 3328: Byzantine Art
The art of the Byzantine Empire from the end of Iconoclasm through the 14th century, examining both major media – gold mosaics, mural painting, manuscript illumination, ivory carving and enamel – and the role that this art played in the lives, thoughts and writings of its contemporaries. 

ARHS 3329: Paris Art and Architecture I
Interweaves an investigation of the development of Paris from Roman times to the Renaissance with a history of French architecture during this period, revealing the major trends of both and their reciprocal relationship. Takes advantage of its Paris location to visit important monuments, buildings and features of urban design. (SMU-in-Paris) 

ARHS 5320: Seminar in Medieval Art
Specific topics for investigation chosen by the instructor.

ARHS 5322: Seminar on "Convivencia": Jewish, Islamic and Christian Art in Medieval Spain
The art and architecture produced by the Christians, Jews and Muslims of Iberia during the 10th through 15th centuries, studying the cultural contacts, conflicts and compromises that affected each culture’s artistic traditions and contributed the diverse heritage of what now is called Spanish art.

ARHS 5323: Seminar in Byzantine Art
Specific topics for investigation chosen by the instructor.

ARHS 6321: Age of the Crusades
The art of the various Christian cultures that were swept into the Crusades — especially the northern European, Italian, Byzantine and Armenian — and the changes and the interchanges that characterize the period between 1096 and 1291.

ARHS 6322: Art and the Italian Commune
The interplay of artistic styles, workshop practice, religious change and political controversy in the century between St. Francis and the Black Death, emphasizing the art of the Pisani, Cimabue, Cavallini, Giotto, Duccio and the Lorenzetti.

ARHS 6323: Romanesque Art and Architecture
The flowering of art and architecture that appeared throughout Western Europe at the threshold of the new millennium. Emphasis will be placed on issues of cultural exchange and conflict, the intensification of national identities, the role of spirituality and the changing conception of the individual during the 11th and 12th centuries.

ARHS 6324: Art and Cultures of Medieval Spain
The art architecture of the Iberian Peninsula within its highly diverse cultural context. Hispano-Roman, Visigothic, Romanesque, Gothic, Jewish and Islamic examples will be highlighted. Classroom lectures will be supplemented by direct study of works in the Meadows Museum.

ARHS 6325: The Gothic Cathedral
The social and spiritual centerpiece of medieval European life, the Gothic cathedral was also one of the greatest multimedia creations of its age. This lecture course uses the cathedral as a springing point for the investigation of the rich architectural and artistic traditions of the high and late Middle Ages in Europe.

ARHS 6328: Byzantine Art
The art of the Byzantine Empire from the end of Iconoclasm through the 14th century, examining both major media — gold mosaics, mural painting, manuscript illumination, ivory carving and enamel — and the role that this art played in the lives, thoughts and writings of its contemporaries.

ARHS 6337: The Baroque from a Northern Perspective
The world of Rembrandt, Rubens, Leyster, Vermeer, Van Dyck, De la Tour, Le Brun, Jones and Wren in the context of such contemporary events as the Thirty Years’ War and the Reformation, as well as such issues as art versus craft, nationalism versus internationalism, individual genius versus market, colourism versus classicism, collector versus connoisseur. By considering a broad range of artworks – from tapestry to painting, from etching to architecture – in terms of the maker, patron/client and market, this survey will seek the underlying whys for this absorbing period.

ARHS 6338: Baroque Art in Italy, Spain and the New World
A survey of artistic currents in Southern Europe and the Americas during the 17th century, concentrating on the achievements of such artistic giants as Bernini, Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Murillo and Velázquez, studying the artistic controversies they ignited and placing them in the context of major social movements. Also, the work of artists who are less well-known and the development of Baroque styles in Central and South America.

ARHS 6339: El Greco to Goya: Spanish Painting of the Golden Age
A survey of the incomparable painting traditions of Spain’s 15th through early 19th centuries, including such artists as El Greco, Valazquez, Ribera, Murillo and Goya. Lectures will be supplemented by direct study of Spanish paintings and prints in the Meadows Museum.

ARHS 6347: Eighteenth-Century European Art and Theatre: Staging Revolution
The repercussions in the visual and dramatic arts of what historian Eric Hobsbawm called the “dual revolution”: the French Revolution of 1789 and the early English Industrial Revolution. This twin upheaval had broad effects on cultural production in ways that can be explored through the interrelations between art and theatre in France and England between 1750 and 1848.

ARHS 6348: Eighteenth-Century Art
A study of European visual culture, 1700-1800, in its many contexts. Topics to be considered include art and the public sphere; the rise of museums, exhibitions, criticism and theory; shifts in patronage and artistic practice; connections between commerce, industry and the arts; questions of identity; stylistic revivals and innovations; explorations of the past; and encounters with cultures outside Europe.

ARHS 6399: The Jewish-Christian Dialogue in Art and Text
The mutual perceptions, conflicts and commonalities among medieval European Christians and Jews, as reflected in works of visual art and in philosophical, theological, legal and literary texts.

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