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 TWO: 21-25 July 2014

Course 10: Dr Miriam Di Penta

‘The Marvel of the World’: Art and Politics in Baroque Rome

This course is now FULL

Around 1595 two young, ambitious artists moved to Rome from their native cities of Bologna and Milan: Annibale Carracci and Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Thanks to the patronage of cardinals, popes and secular aristocrats, these painters and their pupils would lay the foundations of a new pictorial language. Their individual and opposing classical and naturalist styles, blended with the vital Colorismo of Rubens’ altarpieces of 1608 for the Chiesa Nuova, provided the Catholic Church with a highly effective new instrument of Counter-Reformation propaganda: the glorious art of the Roman Baroque. The course will look at its development from the papacy of Paul V to the triumphs of the Barberini and Chigi pontificates and beyond, with an in-depth analysis of the works of Caravaggio and his circle, the Carraccis, Bernini, Borromini, and Poussin, among others. We will also consider the politics of vision, and the shifting relationship between art, power and tradition. We will discuss the development of art collecting, art criticism and the art market and how the revolutions in philosophy, science and poetry influenced art and society at large. Visits include the National Gallery, Apsley House, the Wallace collection, Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Baroque galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum.


Please note that Dr Di Penta will also lead a Study Tour to Rome from 9 – 12 October 2014, exploring the Baroque in situ.  As always, participation in the tour does not require prior attendance of the Summer School course. [More information can be found in the Study Tours section of our website].

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.

WEEK FOUR: 4 - 8 August 2014

Course 25: Dr Eileen Rubery

Queen of Heaven and Humble Servant: The Image of Mary from Late Antiquity to the Renaissance


This course is now FULL

In the Bible, Mary, the Mother of God, almost disappears from view after the nativity.  In art, however, from the medieval period, her image proliferated.  She was depicted by artists major and minor, and in all media, more frequently even than the adult Christ and her imagery powerfully influenced the representation of secular women, too.  Our course explores how Mary became the archetypal cult figure, and how differently the enthusiasm for her was expressed by men and women, priests and laity, rulers and ordinary people.  We will investigate the differences in the perception of  Mary in Byzantium, Syria, Egypt, and in the West, and at different times. We will compare her with other powerful women, from pagan mythology, from the Bible and from history. Many different image types will be explored in the context of relevant Church writings - from Mary, Queen of Heaven to Mary, Madonna of Mercy. Some of the most memorable representations of women produced in art are of Mary, and through them we will assess the multitude of ways people viewed both her and the role of women in society more widely.  Visits will include the British Museum, the National Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.