HISTART 346 - The Moving Image in the Middle Ages
Fall 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: History of Art (HISTART)
Department: LSA History of Art
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Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Byzantine art has been both condemned and praised for its static nature and flat surfaces. This course examines contexts in which the Byzantine icon disproves the traditional notion (or burden) of stillness imposed upon it. These contexts range from the public arena of processions in which icons (images) were the center of visual attention, to the walls of Byzantine churches and palaces where they performed, to the miracles in which they supposedly came "alive". The responses of Byzantine viewers also reveal modes in which the viewing process shook icons out of their boundaries, transforming, even distorting them. By examining these issues, we may begin to understand the nuanced nature of the Byzantine icon other than as an epitome of stillness. The readings for this course include primary sources (all translated) in the form of deliciously evocative poems, epigrams, and sermons.

At the end of the course, you should have:

  • A good sense of the visual culture of the middle ages in diverse media and regions
  • The ability to read scholarly (or non-scholarly) articles critically
  • The ability to formulate arguments and questions relating to medieval art, based on primary and secondary sources.

Readings: There is no standard textbook for this course. The readings consist of selections from various books and journals, all of which are on reserve at the Fine Arts Library in Tappan Hall. You will be expected to come to class having read the extracts specified for each day.

HISTART Concentration Distributions: The Middle East, Europe, and the US, Medieval, Early Modern

Course Requirements:

One mid-term test, one 20-minute presentation of final paper, and one final paper of 12-15 pages.

Intended Audience:


Class Format:

Two 80-minute seminar meetings based on student discussions.


HISTART 346 - The Moving Image in the Middle Ages
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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