Fine Arts | The Gothic Cathedral
A324 | 2214 | Reilly


This course will survey the development of one of the most important
cultural institutions of the Medieval era, the Gothic Cathedral.  Starting
in the Ile-de-France around 1140, the cathedral became the most important
innovating force in Europe, leading the way in the development of
architecture and the visual arts, as well as education, music.  The
centrality of the cathedral in the later medieval world reflects a
fundamental change in the structure of medieval society, which moved from
being primarily rural to urban in the course of only a century.  A study
of the Gothic cathedral therefore provides an ideal jumping off point to
examine the most important trends of the twelfth, thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries.  These include the use of complex stone vaulting and
stained glass, the primacy of the university school and the acceptance of
secular learning, and the conflict between ecclesiastical and secular
authority in the newly empowered medieval city.