Fine Arts | The Gothic Cathedral
A324 | 26227 | Diane 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, and 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
secular learning, and the conflict between ecclesiastical and
secular authority in the newly empowered medieval city.