Advanced Studies in Medieval Art – ARTS 504

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course will present an intensive study of Medieval Art and Architecture from the fall of Rome to the 15th century in the west, placing an emphasis on the development of painting, mosaic, and manuscript illumination, as well as upon the development of the Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. The arts of this vast period will be analyzed from within the Christian worldview with particular attention to Christian iconography.




This course will enable the student to think critically about the relationship between art objects and meaning in the Medieval world and will enhance the student’s understanding of the visual culture of early Christianity. Understanding, looking at, and thinking about the way images communicate meaning is important to our understanding of the world in which we live. The critical study of the complex relationships between Christianity and the visual arts reveals a unique opportunity to combine faith and academics in a meaningful and enlightening manner. The student’s Christian worldview will be enriched by studying the history of divine-inspired human creativity.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Define and use in discussion terminology commonly used in reference to the history of art.
  2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of historical timelines, cultural and philosophical influences, and artistic influences for artists and art movements from cave art to contemporary art.
  3. Critically analyze works of art, artists, and art movements according to their formative influences, and identify ways in which they have influenced others.
  4. Integrate knowledge of art history information into his/her art assignments based on content reviewed in the course.
  5. Discover spiritual meanings within works of art by using a method of art criticism from a Christian perspective.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 400 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and include 2 biblical principles. Assertions must be supported with at least 1 scholarly source in current MLA format. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 3 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words.

Virtual Tours and Journal Entries (4)

The student will complete virtual tours through various museums and historic locations. Each assignment must have a journal entry of at least 400 words and contain at least 1 citation. Current MLA format must be used.

Research Paper

The student will write a 1,500–2,100-word research-based paper in current MLA format that focuses on the Chartres Cathedral: The Gothic Cathedral as a Heavenly City. The paper must include at least 4 sources in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. The paper will be submitted in 4 parts—an initial Bibliography, Annotated Bibliography, Introduction and Thesis Statement, and the Final draft.

Visual Analyses (3)

The student will complete interactive activities that allow him/her to explore a visual analysis of the selected artworks.

Essay Critique

The student will read and critique the assigned article using the provided Art History Analysis Sheet. The critique must be 800–1,000 words and written in current MLA format.

Reading Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module/week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 5 multiple-choice and/or true/false questions, and have a 10-minute time limit.