The prevailing misconception about the Middle Ages is that it was dark, superstitious and violent, primitive in thought and devoid of culture and artistic achievement. And yet this image of the medieval world is far from accurate. Nothing illustrates this better than cathedrals. They are spectacular examples of vision, engineering, and collective aspiration, and destinations for innumerable pilgrims that trod the roads of the medieval world. The 11-14th centuries in Europe were the “age of cathedral building.” Hundreds were built in one of the most spectacular communal efforts in history. This course will highlight a series of structures: their engineering, rich sculpture, and magnificent stained glass set against the lives of their builders, dispelling the myth of the medieval period as an “age of darkness.”
Hoyne Santa-Balazs has been teaching art history in university for over 20 years on a wide range of subjects, from the Stone Age to contemporary art. Her focus of study is art and the law, art crime, and areas where these domains converge.