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Saints in Medieval Art

The extraordinary personalities of the saints and the miraculous promise of their relics characterized the religious experience of nearly every Christian community during the Middle Ages. This course explores art and architecture of every scale, including the painted stone sculpture of church portals, the intricate metalwork assemblages within reliquaries, and the mass-produced mementos of pilgrim badges. Sessions will address how such artworks both reflected and informed devotional practices, and each class meeting will focus on the lives of individual medieval saints (e.g., Simeon Stylites, Sainte-Foy, Francis of Assisi, Hildegard of Bingen, and Thomas Becket) as told by the hagiographers of the time. The course encompasses a millennium of Christian art from late antiquity to the 14th century, and pilgrimage sites from Syria to Britain, including the famous routes to Santiago di Compostela, Rome, and Jerusalem. It also will take a close look at the collections of the Met Cloisters.

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • A foundation in Christian art from late antiquity to the 14th century
  • Familiarity with the lives of important saints
  • An understanding of the relationship between devotional practices and art

Ideal for

  • Art enthusiasts
  • All members of the community—working, retired, and in between

1 section

  • Fall 2020

    • Section

    • Semester

      Fall 2020
    • Date

      Nov 10 - Dec 15
    • Day

    • Time

      • Online
    • Format

      • Online
    • Sessions

    • Faculty

      Burges, Steven
    • Location

      Instructor Led