Summer School 2013
Periods: Late Classical/Byzantine
WEEK ONE: 8 –12 July 2013
Course 1: Dr Cecily Hennessy
Nike to Angel: The Inception of Early Christian Art
Christian imagery is central to our knowledge and experience of western art during the past two millennia. This course explores the origins and influences of that imagery as it appears in wall paintings and monumental mosaics, in ivories, metalwork and manuscripts. In order to gain a perspective on its roots and influences, we look at key images and symbols from the pre-Christian world. We analyse their meanings and significance and discuss how they gained new interpretations when borrowed and adapted for fundamental aspects of Christian iconography. We also examine the role of art in religious belief and practice, focusing on key sites, such as Dura Europos in modern Syria and fascinating late antique cities, including Ravenna, Rome and Constantinople as well as questioning major visual concepts such as the representation of Christ and of the Virgin. It is planned that visits include a special behind-the-scenes session at the British Library.
WEEK THREE: 22 - 26 July 2013
Course 17: Dr Eileen Rubery
Beauty and Splendour Piece by Piece: The Art of Mosaics from Antiquity to the Renaissance
The fee for this course is £475 as the group will be limited to 10 students; this also includes the cost of course materials/workshops
The use of coloured fragments of glass, stone, shells and earthenware to decorate floors, walls and ceilings occurs from the earliest of times. Mosaics form a robust, flexible and colourful decoration that also, especially when gold or silver is included, glitters and glows in the light, giving a unique impression of movement and liveliness. We shall consider how mosaics were made and what messages they were intended to convey to the observer. Starting with secular images on floors and in the ruins of Pompeii, we shall move on to look at the earliest Christian examples in Rome and Roman Britain, the mosaics of the Imperial Palace and Byzantine churches of Constantinople, and mosaics from Greece, Rome, Norman Sicily and Renaissance Venice. We shall see how mosaics were used to create some of the most sumptuous and spectacular celebrations of religious and secular power. Visits are to the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. There will also be three practical sessions in a mosaic workshop, where we will see modern examples and where every student will have the opportunity to make a small mosaic of their own.