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Art of early medieval europe

Memory of Empire: Possible paper topics
It is very difficult to write a paper in medieval art history without French or German.  The following are suggested topics that may be taken up in English.  Normally, they are only generalized topics and should be narrowed down according to the interests of the student.  Also, the bibliographic references are typically only hints at where to start: ie, these references should be used for both discussion and further bibliography.
Any paper that consists primarily of a critique of a single book must include a discussion of book reviews of that book.
It is inappropriate to write a critique in which the class professor is one of the scholars being considered.
– a critique of the literature on the Carolingian controversy over art:
Peter Brown, “A Dark-Age Crisis: Aspects of the Iconoclastic Controversy,” English Historical Review 88 (1973) 1-34.
Celia Chazelle, “Matter, Spirit, and Image in the Libri Carolini,” Recherches Augustiennes 21 (1986) 163-184.
Ann Freeman, “Scripture and Images in the Libri Carolini,” in Testo e immagine nell’alto medioevo (Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo, XLI) (Spoleto, 1994), pp. 163-88.
Stephen Gero, “The Libri Carolini and the Image Controversy,” The Greek Orthodox Theological Review 18 (1973) 7-34.
ed. Joseph Gutmann, The Image and the Word (Missoula 1977).
Edward J. Martin, A History of the Iconoclastic Controversy (London 1930, reprint 1978).
Thomas F.X. Noble, Images, Iconoclasm, and the Carolingians (Philadelphia 2009).
– a critique of: Walter Horn and Ernest Born, The Plan of St Gall: A Study of the Architecture and Economy of, and Life in a Paradigmatic Carolingian Monastery, 3v (Berkeley 1979).
Be sure to incorporate book reviews (Fernie and Nees must be used); these are only a few:
E.C. Fernie, “The Plan of St. Gall,” Burlington Magazine 124 (1982) 97-99.
Günter Noll, “The Origin of the So-called Plan of St Gall,” Journal of Medieval History 8 (1982) 221-226.
Lawrence Nees, “The Plan of St Gall and the Theory of the Program of Carolingian Art,” Gesta 25 (1986) 1-8.
Be sure to find reviews of this book:
Werner Jacobsen, Der Klosterplan von St Gallen und die Karolingische Architektur (Berlin 1992).
– a critique of the literature on the murals of Castelseprio:
Kurt Weitzmann, The Fresco Cycle of S Maria di Castelseprio (Princeton 1951).
C.R. Morey, “Castelseprio and the Byzantine ‘Renaissance,’” Art Bulletin 34 (1952) 173-201.
Meyer Schapiro, review of Weitzmann, Art Bulletin 34 (1952) 147-163.
Meyer Schapiro, “Notes on Castelseprio,” Art Bulletin 39 (1957) 292-299.
– a critique of the literature on the Ruthwell Cross:
Meyer Schapiro, “The Religious Meaning of the Ruthwell Cross,” Late Antique, Early Christian and Mediaeval Art (New York 1979) 150-176.
ed Brendan Cassidy, The Ruthwell Cross (Princeton 1992).
Fred Orton, “Rethinking the Ruthwell Monument: Fragments and Critique; Tradition and History; Tongues and Sockets,” Art History 21 (1998) 65-106.
Carol Neuman de Vegvar, The Northumbrian Renaissance (Selinsgrove 1987) 203-237.
– a critique of the literature on the issue of the place of Reichenau in the history of German manuscript illumination:
C.R. Dodwell and D.H. Turner, Reichenau Reconsidered: A Re-assessment of the Place of Reichenau in Ottonian Art, Warburg Institute Surveys 2 (London 1965).
Henry Mayr-Harting, Ottonian Book Illumination: An Historical Study, 2v (London 1991-1992).
Ehrenfried Kuckert, “Romanesque Painting,” Romanesque Architecture, Sculpture, and Painting, ed Rolf Toman (Cologne 1997).
– a critique of the literature on some aspect of the Book of Kells:
Carol Farr, The Book of Kells: Its Function and Audience (London 1997).
– a critique of the literature on some aspect of the Utrecht Psalter:
Koert van der Horst, et al., eds, The Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David (Tuurdijk 1996).
– a critique on the literature on Gregory the Great’s writings on art:
Herbert L. Kessler, “Pictorial Narrative and Church Mission in Sixth-Century Gaul,” Studies in the History of Art 16 (1985) 75-91.
Herbert L. Kessler, “Diction in the ‘Bibles of the Illiterate,’” World Art: Themes of Unity in Diversity, Acts of the XXVIth International Congress of the History of Art, ed. Irving Lavin, v.2 (University Park 1989) 297-304.
Lawrence Duggan, “Was Art Really the Book of the Illiterate’?” Word and Image 5 (1989) 227-251.
Celia Chazelle, “Pictures, Books, and the Illiterate: Pope Gregory I’s Letters to Serenus of Marseilles,” Word and Image 6 (1990) 138-150.
Michael Camille, “The Gregorian Definition Revisited: Writing and the Medieval Image,” L’Image: Fonctions et usages des images dans L’Occident médiéval, ed Jérôme Baschet and Jean-Claude Schmitt [Cahiers du Léopard d’Or 5] (Paris 1992) 89-108.
– a critique of the literature on the origins of Romanesque:
Otto Pächt, “Pre-Carolingian Roots of Romanesque Art,” Romanesque and Gothic Art, Acts of the Twentieth International Congress of the History of Art 1 (Princeton 1963) 67-75.
Hanns Swarzenski, “The Role of Copies in the Formation of Styles in the Eleventh Century,” Romanesque and Gothic Art, Acts of the Twentieth International Congress of the History of Art 1 (New York 1963) 7-18.
– a critique of: Lawrence Nees, A Tainted Mantle: Hercules and the Classical Tradition at the Carolingian Court (Philadelphia 1991).
Be sure to incorporate book reviews.
– a critique of: C.R. Dodwell, Anglo-Saxon Art: A New Perspective (Ithaca, NY 1985).
Be sure to incorporate book reviews.
– for advanced students: a critique of one of the major writings of Meyer Schapiro on Early Medieval art:
for example:
Meyer Schapiro, “The Religious Meaning of the Ruthwell Cross,” Late Antique, Early Christian and Mediaeval Art (New York 1979) 150-176.
Cf. James Breckenridge, “A Man with an Eye,” New York Times Book Reviews, 24 Feb 1980, p.11f.
– for advanced students: a critique of some of the major writings of Richard Krautheimer on Early Christian art:
for example:
Richard Krautheimer, “Introduction to an ‘Iconography of Medieval Architecture,’” Studies in Early Christian, Medieval, and Renaissance Art (New York 1969) 115-150.
Richard Krautheimer, “The Carolingian Revival of Early Christian Architecture,” Studies in Early Christian, Medieval, and Renaissance Art (New York 1969) 203-256.
– or write a paper on any subject which has authors with good but different approaches: How do they differ?  Why?  What are the implications?  What is the resultant view of artwork, of the culture, etc?

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