WEEK ONE: 14–18 July 2014

Course 1: Dr Rose Walker

The Road to Compostela


NB the fee for this course does not include the cost of travelling to Ely; students are free to make their own arrangements.

This course is now FULL

‘There are four roads … ’, so begins the ‘Pilgrim’s Guide’ to Santiago de Compostela in the Codex Calixtinus, the manuscript that was stolen from the cathedral in 2011. The text goes on to describe an itinerary of holy bodies; good and bad rivers; places to stay and people to avoid.  Along those same roads some of the finest monuments of Romanesque art came into being.

This course will look at buildings and sculpture at sites along the roads in France and Spain. We will examine the idea of a ‘pilgrimage church’ in relation to Santiago de Compostela, Sainte-Foy-de-Conques, and St Sernin-de-Toulouse. How did processions and liturgy use cloisters like Moissac and Santo Domingo de Silos? How did reliquaries, above all the mesmeric image of Sainte-Foy at Conques, embody a relationship with their community and with pilgrims?  In London we will visit the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Library. The course will also consider England’s fascination with Santiago de Compostela over the centuries and pilgrimage in England through a visit to Ely Cathedral, where we will be accompanied by the distinguished scholar of medieval architecture, Professor Paul Crossley.

WEEK THREE: 28 July–1 August 2014

Course 17: Dr Mellie Naydenova-Slade

The Gothic Image: Exploring the Medieval Imagination


detail of couple from ivory carved casket with scenes of courtship
Ivory casket with scenes of courtship, detail, France, 1st half of 14th century, ©The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
The making of medieval art was typically a collaborative process, involving numerous craftsmen as well as patrons whose wishes were closely followed. As a result, medieval images often reflect the creative vision of more than one individual, making them a particularly fascinating topic of study. Focusing on the Gothic period (c.1140-1500) this course will explore the imaginative universe which shaped Gothic art, offering an exciting opportunity to become familiar with images in a variety of media, including panel and wall painting, sculpture, stained glass, manuscript illumination, metalwork and textiles. Both religious and secular subjects will be covered, from familiar images representing well-known biblical stories, to art works which record tales of magic, combat, romance, and much more besides. In the first instance, the various types of images under consideration will be contextualised and elucidated, giving participants the necessary tools to understand and interpret medieval art. Building on that, we will question who was responsible for shaping the meaning of Gothic images, to what extent patrons left their own mark on the works of art they commissioned, and, perhaps most interestingly, how the imagination of the people for whom they were made is likely to have augmented their intended effect.