Problems in Medieval Art:
Art of Medieval Paris: Manuscript Production in Medieval Paris, 1200-1420
Th 4:00pm - 7:00pm
270 Tappan
3 Credit Seminar

Much is now known about the ins-and-outs of manuscript making in Paris, the capital city of the Capetian and Valois kings. This seminar offers a multi-faceted introduction to medieval book culture by focusing on manuscript production in this university town, which was famous throughout Europe for excelling in the art of illumination. Students will gain practical experience by analyzing and describing manuscripts in University of Michigan collections, working within the parameters of the subdisciplines of codicology and paleography. They will be brought to consider problems in accounting for stylistic change as they develop skills in recognizing and describing salient features of form. As a class we will study genres of illuminated manuscripts (university texts, liturgical manuscripts, devotional texts, literary works), and consider the copying, translating, and illustrating of older texts and the publishing of new works (e.g. the writings of Thomas Aquinas, Guillaume de Machaut, Christine de Pizan). Questions of patronage will be considered throughout, and we will think about the economics of book production, drawing comparisons with the situation in other European cities and towns. The seminar runs in tandem with a lecture course on Art of Medieval Paris (MW 11:00-1:30) which treats architecture, urbanism, and artisanal production more generally and which would ideally be audited concurrently.

Estimated cost of materials: less than $50.