Suffolk University Spring 2012
ARH-306 Art of the Middle Ages
Purpose: The third paper is practice in contextual analysis. This is the fundamental work done by art historians. It is meant to allow you to engage closely and simultaneously with works of medieval art and the circumstances surrounding their production and consumption.
Assignment: Choose one work (ex: the Bayeux Tapestry) or a group of works (ex: Catalan frescoes) to be the focus of your study. You can continue to use works studied in Papers 1 and/or 2, or you can choose something new. Your work(s) must be dated between c. 300 and 1500 (the time range for material covered in the course), so please check dates carefully.
Write a paper of 1250-1700 words (approx. 4-6 pages) that analyzes the work(s) in its (their) medieval context. You should maintain the visual description and formal analysis practiced in the first two papers, but your focus is on situating such formal aspects (i.e. composition, subject, materials, condition and style) within the work’s political, religious, social, economic, and historical contexts. Your contextual analysis may also extend to thinking about the works thematically. How do they resonate with the issues pertaining to medieval art raised by Kessler in Seeing Medieval Art?
NOTES: Start by looking at the sample essay by Chase Booker posted with the paper assignment on Blackboard. This is a paper written by an undergraduate student at NYU. It is slightly longer and more involved than what is expected of you in this paper, but it is a good example of a student doing the kind of contextual analysis asked of you here.
Papers must be fully illustrated.
Papers must be typed, double-spaced, use 11-pt. font, and have 1-inch margins all around.
Any published information included in this paper (i.e. from the course textbook, a museum label, the museum website, etc.) must be correctly documented. Anything apart from basic information (such as...