Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Medieval History Through Artists’ Eyes

4-Session Daytime Course

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET
Code: 1H0537
Select Your Tickets
"Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry", medieval illuminated manuscript (Art Institute of Chicago)

Please Note: This course has an updated date schedule (originally October 6-27, 2020).


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.

Explore the art and architecture of the Middle Ages through four transformational moments in history. Dazzling early Christian mosaics, sumptuous Carolingian illuminated manuscripts, sculpted Romanesque church facades, and soaring Gothic cathedrals give artistic expression to an astonishing variety of beliefs and practices, as well as reflect a unified purpose to lead the human spirit toward a vision of eternal life.

Independent art historian Judy Scott Feldman examines the art of the thousand-year period between classical antiquity and the Renaissance and its relationship to a diverse society infused with faith and spirituality.

Oct. 6  Constantine’s Conversion

Constantine the Great (d. 337), the first Christian Roman emperor, and the transformation of classical artistic traditions to Christian beliefs and practices; Roman catacombs, Old St. Peter’s, Ravenna mosaics, Hagia Sophia, icons and iconoclasm. 

Oct. 20  Charlemagne and the Carolingian Renaissance

Charlemagne (Charles the Great, d. 814) and the synthesis of barbarian, Irish, and classical traditions; learning at the court of the Holy Roman Empire in Aachen; Palace Chapel at Aachen, Irish illuminated manuscripts, Coronation Gospels, Ottonian Gospel Book of Otto III (c.1000)

Oct. 27  Monastic Reform and Public Piety Around 1100

The meeting of monastic spirituality and the public cult of the saints in the great Romanesque monasteries and pilgrimage churches of Europe during the 12th century; the cloister of Santo Domingo de Silos, the sculptured tympanum at Ste. Foi in Conques, St. Mary Magdalene in Vézelay, jeweled reliquaries and shrines.

Nov. 3  The 12th-Century Renaissance and the Gothic Cathedral

The rise of Gothic art and architecture in the area around Paris, supported by French kings and bishops and inspired by technological innovations and intellectual discoveries from cathedral schools and visionary churchmen such as Suger of St. Denis and Bernard of Clairvaux; Chartres Cathedral, Reims Cathedral, St.-Pierre in Beauvais.

4 sessions (no class Oct. 13)

World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit*

Patron Information

  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 core course credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.