Part Two - Lectures 9 - 16
9. Early Christian Art and Its Progeny
In exploring the evolution of Christian art, moving both backward and forward in time, we arrive at a familiar point transformed: the relationship among art, religion, and politics, as the last image offers a Christian political leader, Otto II, in a representation that evokes Christ's enthroned image.
10. The Beginnings of Jewish Art
The transformation of Western art into distinctly Christian art evokes, among other questions, that of "Jewish" art: Where does it fit in, and how is it to be understoodâ€”as an art of style, symbols, content, and purpose, made by or for Jews?
11. Christian Medieval Art and Architecture
In expanding on earlier issues, we discuss the post-Roman evolution of the dome and the arch; the post-synagogue evolution of the Torah niche as church apse; and the expanding use of the cross as a symbol, concluding with a look at the idea of and relationship between the cross and other symbols of life.
12. The Language of Romanesque and Gothic Art
This lecture picks up with the last theme in the previous lecture: the symbolism of the cross. Against the backdrop of traumatic events in medieval Christian history, the discussion moves from architectural symbolism in its various aspects, concluding with a look at the expansive vocabulary of figurative representation in Christian art.
13. Islamic Art from Abstract to Figurative
We explore some of Islamic art's major forms of expressionâ€”including the free-standing dome, mosque niche, the prayer rug, mosque lamps, and calligraphyâ€”before moving to figurative imagery in Muslim art and to Muslim contact with Christian Renaissance art.
14. Jewish Medieval Art and Architecture
The thread of Jewish art is further unraveled in this lecture, interwoven with aspects of connection to Muslim and Christian art. We learn about the complicated positioning of various elements within the interior of a number of famous European synagogues, and we come to understand why Torah scrolls, which must be free of adornment, still glorify God with their beauty.
15. Early Renaissance Painting in Central Italy
We return to our discussion of Christian art, including the evolution in the styles of depicting key Christian symbols: the cross as variously styled crucifixions; an ethereal Virgin and Child as a flesh-and-blood mother and her infant son; and Christ's presentation as one of us, with less emphasis on his divine aspect.
16. 15th-Century Italian Renaissance Painting
This lecture defines the word Renaissance as it carries us fully into the Italian Renaissance of the Florence-dominated 15th century, following the new dynamic tension between a harsh, almost ugly manner of depiction and a poetic sweetness. All this is intertwined with an intensified focus on landscape and dramatic perspective.