History of Gothic Art


To identify the structural and aesthetic elements characteristic of the art of the Late Middle Ages; To relate the emergence of gothic art and architecture to the political, social, economical and cultural context;  To characterize the different phases of the developement of gothic architecture in France, Germany, Italy, England and Spain; To relate the dynamics of gothic sculpture to medieval mentalities; To identify new iconographical proposals within gothic art; To acknowledge the relationship of medieval art with polychromy, its uses and different approaches across Europe; To articulate late gothic art to the changes occured in medieval Western world during the final centuries of the Middle Ages.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Carla Maria Lagoas Gaspar Varela Fernandes


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





Daussy, S. D. & Timbert, A. (Eds.), Architecture et sculpture gothiques. Renouvellement des méthods et des regards. Rennes : Presses Univ. Rennes, 2012.
Duby, G., O Tempo das Catedrais. A Arte e a Sociedade (940-1420). Lisboa: Editorial Estampa, 1979
Erlande-Brandenburg, A., La cathédrale gotique, Paris: Mame, 1990.
Focillon, H., Arte do Ocidente: a Idade Média, Românica e Gótica, Lisboa: Estampa, 1980.
Martin, T. (ed.), Reassessing the roles of women as ‘makers’ of medieval art and architecture. Leiden: Brill, 2012.
Panofsky, E., Abbot Suger on the Abbey Church of St. Denis and its Art Treasures. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979.
Rudolph, C. A Companion to Medieval Art. Romanesque and Gothic in Northern Europe. Blackwell, 2009.
Schmitt, J.-C., La raison des gestes dans l´Occident médiéval. Paris: Gallimard, 1990.
Sears, E., and Thelma K. T., (eds). Reading Medieval Images: the art historian and the object. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002.


Teaching method

Theoretical-practical lessons, with audiovisual material and the use of teaching methods and instruments, such as: texts; images. This curricular unit includes a field tryp to the monastery of Batalha.

Evaluation method

Evaluation Method - Active participation both in class and in the virtual forum created in the Moodle platform(25%), Report on the study trip/assistance to a conference(25%), Test (50%)

Subject matter

1. The art of the Late Middle Ages in context.
2. Sources for the study of the artistic creation in the Late Middle Ages. Historiography and theory of Gothic Art.
3. Intellectual and material authors in the Late Middle Ages
4. The medieval city
5. The geography of gothic art: the development of new architectonic forms in France, Italy, England, Spain.
6. The sculptural decoration in the Late Middle Ages
7. The arts of colour
8. The funerary conquest of the architectonic space
9. Devotional images during the Late Middle Ages
10. Flandes, center of creation and dissemination of forms at the end of the Middle Ages



Programs where the course is taught: