In this course we will explore the vibrant and often surprising relationship between art and travel in the European Middle Ages. Specifically, this course will explore the material culture of travel through the lens of pilgrimage in the context of the urban environment, and will consider the role of art in guiding, encouraging, and visualizing travel to and through some of the most important religious centers in the medieval Christian world. We will begin in Jerusalem and move outwards to Constantinople as a gateway to holy sites across the Byzantine Empire. We will then move to Paris and London to explore the different ways that pilgrimage could be undertaken, both physically and in the mind's eye. Finally, we will move to the conceptual, considering how the Heavenly Jerusalem was manifested in art and architecture across the medieval world. This course will investigate this subject through engagement with primary sources, object-focused study, and visits to the Saint Louis Art Museum and WashU special collections. The overarching goal is to foster strong critical reading and thinking skills, while also developing specialized knowledge in the history of medieval art. Emphasis will lie in critical interpretation and analysis, in engaging in rigorous class discussion, and in writing coherently at a high academic level.
Prerequisite: any 100- or 200-level course in art history
Course Attributes: FA AH; EN H; BU IS; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM