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Art in Medieval Europe (AHIS20019)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeAHIS20019
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject provides an introduction to the art of medieval Europe, from the Roman Empire (c. 300) to the late Middle Ages (c. 1400), surveying the major artistic developments across the period wth particular emphasis on Italy. It focuses on the function of imagery in specific historical and physical contexts, and considers the lives and motives of patrons, audiences as well as artists. Lectures introduce broad themes and topics, including: early medieval attitudes toward the classical past; European perceptions of Byzantium and Islam; political imagery in medieval courts; the cult of relics; the rise of devotional imagery; the emergence of the 'artist'; and the origins of the independent easel painting (the canonical vehicle of modern art). Tutorials focus on key art works from a range of media (including wall paintings, panel paintings, mosaic, sculpture, ivories, metalwork, tapestry, illuminated manuscripts, and stained glass), and include site visits to University of Melbourne collections and to the National Gallery of Victoria.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the subject, students should have:

  • acquired a good working knowledge of the stylistic and iconographic developments in the art of the period;
  • developed an understanding of the range of approaches to art historical writing on this period; and
  • an ability to analyse a work of art of this period in relation to medium, function, and social or religious context.

Generic skills

At the completion of this subject, students should gain the following generic skills:

  • be able to research through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays;
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically, creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision; and
  • be able to participate in team work through involvement in syndicate groups and group discussions.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects

AHIS20019 Medieval Art: Celtic to Gothic

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • A 1,000 word class paper (25%), due during semester
  • A 2000 word essay (50%), due during semester
  • A 1000 word visual test (25%), in the examination period
  • This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Dates & times

Not available in 2019

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    A subject reader will be available or readings will be available online.

  • Breadth options
  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 10 August 2019