Mediterranean Artistic Interactions: Europe and Islam, 800-1500 (AH4109.01)

Razan Francis

The Mediterranean was a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural world, constantly transformed by the mobility of people, ideas, technologies, objects, and architectural styles. After the decline of Rome and the shift of the cultural center to Constantinople in 330, the rise of Islam in the seventh century presented the Christian world with different religious and political challenges. This course examines the art and architecture of the Mediterranean basin during seven centuries. It considers the Mediterranean as a dynamic terrain where global contacts, prompted by trade, diplomacy, war and conquest, travel, and pilgrimage, strongly shaped the material and visual cultures. These contacts were not only maintained over distance, but through the proximity of shared communities of several religious groups—most prominently, Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Instead of restricting our analysis to geographical and political boundaries or religious and ethnic categories (e.g., East vs. West; Islam vs. Christianity/Europe), we will comparatively and thematically explore how cultural interaction and borrowing formalized common aesthetic expressions and, while enriching religious cultures, consolidated their identities and artistic differences.

Prerequisites: Prior work in Art History or Architecture. Permission of the instructor.
Credits: 4
M 12:10pm - 2:00pm; W 12:10pm - 2:00pm
Maximum Enrollment: 14
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Art History, Four Credit, Monday and/or Thursday Afternoons, Razan Francis, Updates, Wednesday Afternoons, and tagged , , .