Art History (Medieval Art)


At the end of this curricular unit the students will have acquired skills that will help them to:
- Recognize the main characteristics of each artistic period included in the Syllabus
- Understand the art-historical framework of these same periods
- Analyze a work individually as well as draw parallels between works of the same period
- Make connections between different periods, having the ability to recognize influences and heritages as well as innovative elements
- Demonstrate critical capacity of research and development of research works
- Be able to apply research methodologies in Art History

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Catarina Paula Oliveira de Mattos Villamariz


Weekly - 4

Total - 68

Teaching language



Available soon


Obras de Carácter geral

BARRAL Y ALTET, X., A Alta Idade Média, Colónia, Taschen, 1998.

DUBY, G. O Tempo das Catedrais. A Arte e a Sociedade (940-1420), Lisboa, Estampa, 1979

GARCÍA MARCILLA, J. Vicente (dir.), C. MANCHO, I. RUIZ DE LA PEÑA, Historia del Arte Medieval. Valencia, Publicacions Universitat de València, 2012.

TOMAN, R., O Românico, Colónia, Könemann, 1999

Supporting documentation is available for all subjects in Moodle

Teaching method

Introduction to each of the subjects included in the program, through an historical-artistic contextualization of the artistic periods lectured. Development of themes through an approach that includes the analysis of the main artistic currents of each period, such as architecture, sculpture, painting or mosaic. Exemplification of specific cases through their visualization by using images during the lectures in order to illustrate the speech. Images give a better perception of the subject and also a better understanding of the work of art. Direct contact with the work of art is promoted whenever possible. Dialog with the students is encouraged, so that they can present any doubts and participate actively in the analysis of the works of art.

Evaluation method

Continuous Evaluation | It takes place asynchronously in Moodle - 35% final grade

- 3 Mini-Tests

- 1 Mini group project


1 Test   - 35% final grade

1 group project  - 30% final grade

In any evaluation moment, students must also take into consideration the provisions of nº3 of article 10º of the ''Evaluation Rules of FCT NOVA'', “When fraud or plagiarism is proven in any of the evaluation elements of a UC, students directly involved are outright disapproved at UC (…). 

Subject matter

1) Introduction

- The Middle Ages and Medieval Art: concepts and impostures.

- The Middle Ages: spatio-temporal contextualization and cultural frameworks

- Methodology and Sources

2) East and West in the Early Middle Ages

  2 /i) The Byzantine East

- The division of the Roman Empire in the year 395.

- East: Byzantine Empire.

2 /ii) The Christian West I

- The British Isles

Case-study: The Gospel of Lindisfarne

2 /iii) The Christian West II and The Islamic Art

- The Iberian Peninsula: the Visigoths

  - Mahomet and the birth of the Islamic religion. Creation and expansion of the Islamic Empire

- The Islamic Art. Main features. The Islamic Art in the Iberian Peninsula

- The Iberian Peninsula between the 8th and 10th centuries: Mozarabic Art and Asturian Art

Case study: Santa Maria de Naranco: the criteria for classification as Unesco heritage; the "Convention for the Conservation of Pre-Romanesque Monuments of the Asturias"

  2 /iv) The Christian West III

- Carolingian art and the Europe of Charlemagne

3) The Romanesque:

3 /i) - Architecture and Sculpture

- Europe at the turn of the millennium.

- The Pilgrimage Routes. Typologies. Regionalisms.

- The Romanesque in Portugal.

Case Study: The Lisbon Cathedral.

- The Sculpture resurgence

Case Study: Restoration of the Portico of the Glory of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

3 /ii) - The Arts of Color

- Painting and manuscripts

4) Iberia of the three cultures

Case-Study: Toledo in the 13th century: a cathedral, a mosque, a synagogue

5) Gothic

5 /i) - Architecture

- A new conception of the religious space; technical and mental transformations; the key figures of the twelfth century: St. Bernard and Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis.

- Cathedrals in the Middle Ages and in Contemporaneity: conservation problems, musealization. How does conservation and restoration dynamize architecture?

Case-study: The Cathedral of Reims; interventions on the western façade throughout the 20th and 21st centuries; musealization proposals.

- Implantation and consolidation of Gothic in different territories and the role of religious orders.

-Case-study: the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria, Batalha

5 /ii) - Sculpture

- Sculptural survivors vs the emergence of new devotions: the Marian iconography; the humanization of God.

- The presence of death: funerary sculpture.

5 /iii) - The Arts of color  

- Painting and manuscripts

- Case Study: Giotto di Bandone and Capella Scrovegni (Padova)


Programs where the course is taught: