Medieval Christian Iconography for Art Historians | University of Oxford

Medieval Christian Iconography for Art Historians

Event date
Rewley House
1-7 Wellington Square
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
From £62
Disabled access?
Booking required

Through the long period of the Middle Ages, a repertory of images developed associated with written texts promoted and circulated by the Church, the most powerful and socially pervasive institution of the period. Their formulation developed in response to their conceptual significance so that, for example, wise men became kings, Christ came to be crucified on a tree, and the serpent in Eden was eventually endowed with the face of a woman. This process was continuous and protean, reflecting changing preoccupations in contemporary society, but always underpinned by key biblical, liturgical, devotional and hagiographic texts. This course will explore these developments, working closely with key medieval texts which had a bearing on iconography. Although we can never fully understand the contemporary significance of medieval imagery, we will attempt by these means to move a little closer to the mind-sets of the Middle Ages and the contexts in which the visual arts functioned.