Short Courses

Gothic Images: The Art of Magnificence, 1200-1500

Summer School online

The Virgin, holding the Christ Child and flanked by angels, stands in a church. i Quentin Massys, Virgin and Child with Angels, 1500s, oil on panel, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Course 1 – Summer School online

Monday 29 May – Friday 2 June 2023
Dr Lydia Hansell

Course description

From the twelfth century, a dazzling new style of art and architecture flourished in Europe. The Gothic aesthetic that Vasari memorably dismissed as “endless pinnacles” pervaded visual culture, from precious gem-encrusted reliquaries, ivories, and illuminated manuscripts to the stained glass of cathedrals, panel paintings, murals and monumental sculpture. Works of art made in the period from 1200-1500 offer fascinating insights into the beliefs, priorities and even anxieties of their patrons and makers. Focusing primarily on England, France and the Low Countries, this course will explore the making of images in the Gothic period and the multitude of ideas which shaped that often complex and almost always collaborative process. It will consider the intellectual, theological, philosophical, social and aesthetic ideas which scholars have credited as the driving forces behind the emergence of the Gothic style. A picture can gradually be built up of what might be called the “imaginative universe” which shaped Gothic art, and the different ways in which ideas were distilled into images, in an astonishingly rich visual language.

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29 May - 2 Jun 2023



Lecturer's biography

Dr Lydia Hansell received her undergraduate degree in Classics from the University of Oxford before completing an MA and AHRC-funded PhD at The Courtauld. Lydia’s PhD, supervised by Professor Susie Nash, focused on Burgundian ecclesiastic patronage. Her recent research will be published in conjunction with an exhibition in Autun, Burgundy (2021). Lydia is an Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld where she has taught and lectured on BA and MA courses on medieval and Renaissance Art.