Illuminating Medieval Art

Course begins Wednesday 12 January 2022

From gilded manuscripts to eerie relics; from sculpted figure, to glittering jewels. Medieval art fascinates, but few can understand much of its meaning and symbolism, as the ideas, texts and moments are buried in centuries of misrepresentation and misunderstanding. See these enigmatic objects afresh as we explore art from the 6th to 14th centuries together. You’ll discover unknown ideologies, maverick individuals and world-class craftspeople. This course will help you see the medieval period with new eyes.

Delivery: The course will be delivered by a series of 4 video lectures, and separate group Q&As with the course tutor via a video conferencing platform. Participants will also receive a reading list, course literature and activities. Links and details will be sent to participants a few days before the course begins. Lectures will be released at 7pm each Wednesday and will be available to view for a month and half.

ENROL – £37.50


1. Dark Age or Golden Age? (6th to 9th centuries)

People on the move following the fall of Rome led to individualistic artistic traditions that celebrated warrior culture, mystical beasts and personal, private, portable art.

2. Monsters At Every Turn. (10th to 12th centuries)

As power centralised in the hands of the Papacy and ruling houses like the Normans, so art becomes a means of control.

3. Signed, Anonymous: The Rise of the Artist (12th to 13th centuries)

Signing artworks and naming craftspeople signals a rise in the super-star artist. High medieval art was about show, prestige and power.

4. We Are All Individuals (13th to 14th centuries)

Ideological, social and economic shifts like the Reformation and Hanseatic League, compounded by the Black Death, creates a new type of art that fed into the Renaissance.

Your Tutor: Dr Janina Ramirez is a lecturer in medieval history, a critically acclaimed broadcaster, and bestselling author of Private Lives of the Saints, Julian of Norwich and the forthcoming Femina: A New History of the Middle Ages.

If you have any queries about the course, please do not contact the tutors direct. Instead, contact where we will be happy to advise.